COVID-19 has killed more than 425,000 Americans and infections have continued to rise despite the introduction of a pair of vaccines at the end of 2020. USA TODAY follows the news. Keep refreshing this page for the latest updates. Subscribe to our Coronavirus Watch newsletter for updates to your inbox, join our facebook group or scroll through our detailed answers to reader questions.
With more students returning to school this week, evidence from the US and other countries indicates schools can operate safely with precautions and should open as soon as possible. in-person instructions, according to researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. say.
In an article published Tuesday in JAMA Network, researchers wrote that wearing masks and maintaining social distance have been shown to be effective in limiting the transmission of the coronavirus in schools, but activities such as indoor sporting events can promote spread and should be reduced.
“The preponderance of available evidence from the fall semester was reassuring,” the three researchers wrote. “There is little evidence that schools have contributed significantly to increased community transmission.”
Still, returning student populations may be even more at risk than they were in the fall – not to mention their surrounding communities, where research has suggested larger epidemics in college towns.
In the headlines:
► Eli Lilly announced on Tuesday that his cocktail of monoclonal antibodies is reducing hospitalizations by 70% for patients at high risk of COVID-19.
► Alaska and Kentucky have detected the first known cases of the variant coronavirus in their states identified last year in the UK, officials said on Tuesday. The diagnoses bring the total of states reporting cases of the variant to 25.
► President Joe Biden has announced that he will increase the minimum weekly vaccine supply to states over the next three weeks from 8.6 million to 10 million, or 16%. Biden is also trying to increase America’s chances in the fight against the pandemic with an ongoing agreement to purchase an additional 200 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
► The global total of coronavirus cases exceeded 100 million on Tuesday, according to the Johns Hopkins University dashboard. The United States, with just over 4% of the world’s population, accounts for more than 25% of infections and nearly 20% of deaths.
► Steven Brandenburg, a Wisconsin pharmacist and convicted conspiracy theorist accused of trying to spoil dozens of vials of COVID-19 vaccine, faces 20 years in prison after agreeing to plead guilty in federal court on Tuesday, prosecutors said . The vials contained enough doses to immunize more than 500 people.
📈 Today’s numbers: The United States has more than 25.4 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus and more than 425,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Global totals: over 100.2 million cases and 2.15 million deaths. About 44.4 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed in the United States and 23.5 million have been administered, according to the CDC.
📘 What we read: There are several variants of COVID-19 in the United States. Where are they? How dangerous are they? Here is what we know.
Oklahoma Department of Health sues company for promising N95 masks
The Oklahoma Department of Health ordered more than 2 million N95 masks in March from a piano bar owner in Tulsa who promised he could get the coveted PPE from China in large quantities and quickly.
They ordered the masks from Casey Bradford’s brand new company, PPE Supplies LLC. On the second order, they even paid him half upfront – $ 2.125 million – after promising delivery in 10 days.
The Oklahoma Department of Health sued Bradford and PPE Supplies LLC in Oklahoma County District Court on Tuesday. Health officials received less than 10,000 masks from PPE Supplies and only $ 300,000 from the deposit, according to the breach of contract lawsuit. The Department of Health is looking to get the rest of its money back – $ 1.825 million, plus interest. He also seeks punitive damages for “fault”.
“Bradford intentionally and willfully misrepresented facts to the plaintiff which prompted him to enter purchase orders and advance a deposit,” the lawsuit alleges.
– Nolan Clay, the Oklahoman
Double masking ‘makes good sense’, says Dr Anthony Fauci
Double masking was in the spotlight last week at President Joe Biden’s inauguration, where several senior officials and celebrities were pictured wearing two masks.
Dr Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease specialist, says it’s probably more effective at preventing the spread: “So if you have a physical coating with one diaper you put on another, that’s it. just makes sense to be more efficient, “Fauci told” NBC News’ TODAY “on Monday.” This is the reason why you see people doing double masking or doing a version of an N95. “
The same goes for a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Matter in July, which found that wearing two masks can increase protection against viral particles by 50% to 75%. This not only added an extra layer of protection, but also made the mask fit snugly around the face, said study author Dr Loretta Fernandez.
Americans’ renewed interest in double-masking also comes when variants that appear to be more contagious emerge from the UK, South Africa, Brazil and California.
– Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY.
Contribute: The Associated Press