The COVID-19 death toll in the United States has hit yet another record high with 3,775 fatalities reported in a day, which is the equivalent of 2.6 Americans dying every minute.
Daily deaths have now surged above the 3,700 mark three times within the past week. More than 357,000 Americans have now died of COVID-19 since the pandemic broke out.
Cases and hospitalizations also continue to surge with 131,195 patients being treated for the virus yesterday, which is an increase of more than 5,600 in just two days, and 229,055 new infections reported.
The number of people hospitalized nationwide has exceeded 100,000 for 35 days.
Arizona leads the nation with 827 new infections per 100,000 people in the week ended Tuesday, followed by California with 671 per 100,000 and Rhode Island with 666 per 100,000, according to a DailyMail.com analysis of data from the COVID Tracking Project.
By comparison, the country with the world’s highest per capita infection rate, the Czech Republic, reported 653 new cases per 100,000 people in the same period.
Cases are currently rising in 47 US states and territories and the country faces a new threat from a mutant strain of coronavirus that has now been detected in at least 37 individuals across seven states, according to the CDC. The strain, which was first detected in the United Kingdom, is said to be up to 70 percent more transmissible than the original.
The majority of cases of the mutant strain have been reported in California, where the tally jumped from six on Sunday to 32 on Tuesday – less than a week after the first case was diagnosed in the state.
Arizona, California and Rhode Island are seeing higher rates of COVID-19 infections per capita than any country in the world as the US grapples with skyrocketing cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Pictured: Patients wait on gurneys outside the overcrowded LAC USC Hospital emergency room in Los Angeles on Tuesday
The US has recorded more than 200,000 new coronavirus cases on 20 days since Thanksgiving, for a total of nearly 21 million
Hospitalizations broke a record for a third day in a row on Tuesday with 131,195. That number represents an increase of more than 5,600 from two days ago
A refrigerated truck to be used as an overflow morgue is seen at Los Robles Hospital in Thousand Oaks, California, on Tuesday
Cases, deaths and hospitalizations continue to surge amid the train wreck vaccine rollout across the country.
Surgeon General Jerome Adams on Wednesday addressed the slow rollout and called on governors across the country to relax their guidelines in order to get more Americans vaccinated.
‘We always knew this was going to be difficult… It is by no means as good as we would want it to be. I want the American people to keep this in perspective: (It’s) the most difficult vaccine rollout in history, it’s ramping up and you’ll see things rapidly increase over the next couple of weeks,’ he told ABC’s Good Morning America.
‘We’re quickly ramping up. We’re approaching 500,000 per day.’
One in 930 Americans have now died from COVID-19 and the seven-day rolling average for fatalities is now at just over 2,600 per day. Experts have predicted that January will far outpace December for fatalities, as the US continues to set records for hospitalizations and the effects of holiday activities come to fruition.
The health crisis continues to be especially dire in California, which reported 31,440 cases, 368 deaths and 22,485 hospitalizations on Monday.
Nearly two-thirds of the Golden State’s latest deaths came from Los Angeles County, where 224 were reported on Tuesday, bringing the total to date to 11,071.
Los Angeles County, the nation’s largest with a quarter of California’s 40 million residents, has seen a more than 1,000 percent spike in hospitalizations since early November, with 7,898 currently admitted.
Ambulance crews in the county have been advised to conserve oxygen and not to transport patients who have virtually no chance of survival to the hospital because resources need to be reserved for those with better prognoses.
Health officials are now calling the situation in Los Angeles a ‘human disaster’ as they warn the risk of getting COVID has never been higher.
‘Everyone should keep in mind that community transmission rates are so high that you run the risk of an exposure whenever you leave your home,’ Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said. ‘Assume that this deadly invisible virus is everywhere, looking for a willing host.
‘The anticipated surge from the winter holiday gatherings is done. And tens upon tens of thousands of people are paying the price with new COVID-19 infections. The increases in cases are likely to continue for weeks to come, as a result of holiday and and returning travelers.’
While the situation in California continues to spiral, Arizona is currently the worst affected state for cases per capita.
Cases, hospitalizations and deaths in Arizona have been surging since last month. In the last week alone, all three metrics have hit single-day highs amid the pandemic.
Arizona’s hospitals have been stressed by the surge, with some stopping elective surgeries and turning away ambulance runs and hospital transfers while still accepting walk-in patients needing emergency care.
Meanwhile, deaths per capita are currently the worst in Kansas where an average of 1.7 deaths per 100,000 residents have been recorded, CDC data shows. Rhode Island follows with 1.5 deaths, Pennsylvania with 1.4 deaths and Indiana with 1.3 deaths.
The health crisis continues to be especially dire in California, which reported 31,440 cases, 368 deaths and 22,485 hospitalizations on Monday. Pictured: Patients are wheeled into the ER at LAC USC Hospital in Los Angeles
Ambulance crews in Los Angeles County have been advised to conserve oxygen and not to transport patients who have virtually no chance of survival to the hospital because resources need to be reserved for those with better odds
Refrigerated storage units are seen outside a funeral home in Los Angeles on Tuesday
A line of cars is seen outside Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks, California, on Tuesday
‘Super-COVID’ spreads in the US: CDC says highly transmissible strain from the UK is now in at least SEVEN states
The more infectious ‘super-covid’ variant from the UK is in at least seven states, a CDC official told DailyMail.com Tuesday, but refused to reveal which remaining two states beyond Colorado, California, Florida New York and Georgia have cases.
Dr Greg Armstrong, director of the Office of Advanced Molecular Detection at the CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases said that the new variant accounts for ‘fewer than one in 200’ samples run by US labs.
‘It’s up to the states’ to disclose when they have discovered a case of the new variant, Dr Armstrong said. ‘Almost all regulatory authority is at the state level.’
Georgia on Tuesday announced its first case of the ‘mutant’ COVID-19 strain.
The new variant is between 50 percent and 70 percent more transmissible, scientists say.
Georgians cast high-stakes final votes Tuesday in elections to determine the balance of power in the new Congress, deciding Senate runoff elections sure to shape President-elect Joe Biden’s ability to enact what could be the most progressive governing agenda in generations.
The first US case of the strain was reported in a remote nursing home in Colorado last week. It has since also been discovered elsewhere in the state, as well as in New York, Florida and California.
San Diego on Tuesday was reporting 32 cases of the variant, bringing to the total cases across the US to 37. Wilma Wooten, county public health officer, said: ‘The fact that these cases have been identified in multiple parts of the region shows that this strain of the virus could be rapidly spreading.’
The ‘mutant’ variant of the virus that began ravaging across the UK towards the end of last year, causing cases to surge and forcing Prime Minister Boris Johnson to announce a third nationwide lockdown Monday.
Georgia DPH Commissioner Kathleen E. Toomey said: ‘The emergence of this variant in our state should be a wake-up call for all Georgians.’
Dr Armstrong told DailyMail.com that a hallmark of the variant that’s sent the UK into lockdown is seen in about half of a percent of all samples seen in the US, according to testing data from Helix.
Cases are currently rising in 47 US states and territories, according to a COVID Tracking Project update on Tuesday
The first US case of the strand was reported in a remote nursing home in Colorado last week. It has since also been discovered elsewhere in the state, as well as in New York, Georgia, Florida and California, with at least 37 people now infected
Surgeon General vaccine rollout ‘a little messy as he urges states to relax eligibility rules to get more people vaccinated
US Surgeon General Jerome Adams has called on US states to relax their guidelines in order to get more Americans vaccinated as thousands of Florida seniors camped out in their cars overnight to get their shots and New York threatened to fine hospitals for not using up supplies amid a train wreck vaccine rollout across the country.
Surgeon General Jerome Adams on Tuesday admitted that the largest vaccination campaign in US history, which has been in the works for months amid the pandemic, has been a ‘little bit messy’
Just 4.66 million COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across the US in the last three weeks despite federal officials having distributed 15.4 million doses to the states. It means more than two-thirds of the vaccines shipped within the US have gone unused and just 1.4 percent of the population has been vaccinated even as cases, deaths and hospitalizations continue to surge across the US.
Adams on Tuesday admitted that the largest vaccination campaign in US history, which has been in the works for months, has been a ‘little bit messy’.
He blamed, in part, the states for the slower than expected rollout and called on governors – who are in charge of their state plans – to speed up the process by moving to the next priority groups if demand wasn’t being met.
Based on guidelines issued by the federal government, most states are currently prioritizing frontline healthworkers and nursing home residents in the first phase, before moving on to the elderly and other essential workers.
‘In many cases, (the vaccines) are sitting in freezers. We’ve been telling these states since September, we need to prioritize getting everyone vaccinated as quickly as possible while trying to adhere to the guidelines,’ Adams told NBC’s Today. ‘If healthcare workers don’t want to get these vaccines in some places… we need to move on to the (next groups).
‘If the demand isn’t there in 1A, go to 1B and continue on down. If the demand isn’t there in one location, move those vaccines to another location.’
The widespread rollout failures have already been blamed on a range of factors, including governors setting convoluted priorities for initial distribution, lack of federal oversight, chaos in distribution given the freezing temperatures of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and the simple lack of staff to administer jabs in overstretched healthcare systems.
Just 4.66 million COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across the US in the last three weeks despite federal officials having distributed 15.4 million doses to the states
FLORIDA: Hundreds of seniors camped out overnight at Daytona Beach Municipal Stadium to be first in line for vaccinations in the state
FLORIDA: Hundreds of seniors camped up in their cars overnight on Monday in Daytona Beach, Florida parking lot in order to get their first dose of the vaccine. In Florida, where officials have put senior citizens ahead of many essential workers for getting the vaccine. Image courtesy of NBC
Adams warned the US needed to do a better job of matching up supply and demand in states like Florida where hundreds of seniors camped out in their cars overnight in Daytona Beach in order to get their shots.
The seniors camped out in the Daytona Stadium parking lot so they could be first in line for at the drive-thru vaccine facility. In other parts of Florida, seniors are registering online to get access to the shots.
‘The problem is we need to do a better job of matching up supply and demand at the local level,’ Adams said.
‘Some states are doing a really good job. You have red states like North and South Dakota and blue places like DC and Connecticut who have distributed 75 plus percent of their vaccines. But you have some states that still haven’t distributed 25 percent of their vaccines.’
In New York, Gov Andrew Cuomo has threatened to fine hospitals up to $100,000 for not using up their allocated doses. He had previously threatened health care providers with a $1 million fine if they are caught fraudulently obtaining and giving out the vaccine.
Florida has taken a similar approach in penalizing hospitals with Gov Rick DeSantis announcing a policy under which the state will allocate more doses to hospitals that dispense them most quickly.
New York has so far used up 33 percent of its allocation and vaccinated 1.5 percent of its population. Florida has used up 23 percent of its vaccine doses with 1.2 percent of residents having received the shots.
In comparison, Washington DC’s health department is urging providers to hand out vaccines that are nearing expiration to anyone who wants it. Pharmacists in DC have been handing out vaccines to people in grocery stores if those scheduled to receive the shot don’t show for their appointments. As of Tuesday, DC had used up 48 percent of its shots and vaccinated 2.4 percent of it population.
According to a state-by-state breakdown, Kansas and Georgia have only administered 17 percent of the doses distributed to them. Hard-hit California has so far used 24 percent of its vaccine shots, while Florida has used 23 percent
According to a state-by-state breakdown, Kansas and Georgia have only administered 17 percent of the doses distributed to them. Hard-hit California has so far used 24 percent of its vaccine shots, while Florida has used 23 percent. New York, the initial epicenter of the outbreak, has used up 33 percent of its allocation.
Only a handful of states have used more than 50 percent of the shots distributed to them: South Dakota (62%), North Dakota (58%), Tennessee (50%), Connecticut (50%) and Maine (50%).
The race to vaccinate Americans quickly comes as a super-contagious mutant strain of COVID-19 that has forced the UK into its third lockdown has already been detected in the US. Dozens of people, who are spread across New York, California, Colorado, Georgia and Florida, have been confirmed to have the variant of the virus. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has revealed that one in 50 in England – around a million people all up – are now infected with coronavirus.
Dr Anthony Fauci was more optimistic about the sluggish start, saying the US could soon be giving at least a million vaccinations a day.
‘Any time you start a big program, there´s always glitches. I think the glitches have been worked out,’ Fauci told The Associated Press.