The novel coronavirus caught on in New York City and was transmitted by Mardi Gras a year ago. It was in April when so many of those infected died from COVID-19, a total of 61,016.
In January and February of that year, the United States reported the equivalent of the toll from last April. And also last May, June, July and more. In just two months of 2021, the US reported more deaths than the first six fatal months of the pandemic: 160,209 people, according to a USA TODAY analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.
There are signs of hope and concern.
In the last week of February, the US reported about 471,000 new cases and 14,082 deaths. The numbers are still devastating, but about half of the new cases in the last week of January and about two-thirds of the death toll.
And more than 49.7 million Americans had received at least one dose of vaccine, according to a USA TODAY analysis of the Centers for Disease Control data on the last day in February. Many of these recordings went to people who were at greatest risk of death or serious illness.
But the rapid decline in the number of cases in the US after peaking in January has halted. On Sunday, at least 29 states reported rising case numbers for the first time in more than a month. And coronavirus variants continue to spread rapidly in the U.S., can spread more easily, and dodge some treatments and immunities, or both.
On the last day of January, the US had 471 cases of variants. On the last day in February it was 2,463.
– Mike Stucka
Also in the news:
► To help protect communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic, California officials said the state will implement a plan that will distribute 40% of its supply of COVID-19 vaccines to residents in areas with lowest incomes.
►Gov. Larry Hogan released further plans Thursday to distribute COVID-19 vaccines more equitably to underserved parts of Maryland after leaders of the state’s largest black population criticized huge disparities in introducing vaccinations to minority groups.
► Unemployment benefits since the coronavirus pandemic began a year ago in Oklahoma has exceeded payments made in the past 10 years by nearly $ 1.5 billion, the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission said Thursday.
► US road deaths rose for the first time in four years in 2020 when coronavirus-induced lockdowns opened roads and led to more reckless driving, according to a report by the nonprofit National Security Council.
📈 Today’s numbers: The US has more than 28.8 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 520,200 deaths. according to the Johns Hopkins University. The global total: more than 115.5 million cases and 2.56 million deaths. In the United States, more than 109.9 million vaccine doses have been distributed and approximately 82.57 million administered. according to CDC.
📘 What we read: President Joe Biden said this week that there will be enough COVID-19 vaccine for every adult in the US by May, almost two months ahead of what his administration predicted last month. Some health professionals wouldn’t be surprised if it was even sooner. Read the full story.
USA TODAY is tracking COVID-19 news. Please keep updating this page for the latest updates. Want more? Sign up for our Coronavirus Watch newsletter for updates in your inbox and Join our Facebook group.
Texans who lost loved ones to COVID were injured by the state’s decision to lift the mask mandate
Greg Abbott’s statement Tuesday that it was time to open Texas was rejected by local officials and health experts who say it is too early to let go of coronavirus restrictions. Only 7% of the state’s residents have been fully vaccinated against the virus.
But the announcement hit Delia Ramos and others who have lost spouses, parents, or friends to the virus harder – in some cases, wondering if the death of their loved ones meant nothing.
It feels like people who think it’s “impractical to wear a mask,” all of “people who have been lost to the virus,” as well as doctors and nurses who work long hours and teachers who Afraid to go to work, override for fear of exposure. Ramos, 39, said.
She will continue to wear her mask “with honor”.
“I don’t want other children to grow up without a father, like mine, unfortunately, have to grow up without one,” she said. Read the full story.
– Shannon Najmabadi, Corpus Christi Caller-Times
9 great apes receive COVID-19 vaccinations at the San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo vaccinated nine great apes against the coronavirus after a troop of gorillas became infected in its safari park, officials said Thursday.
Four orangutans and five bonobos received COVID-19 injections in January and February. Three bonobos and one gorilla were also expected to receive the experimental vaccine.
The vaccinations followed an outbreak of COVID-19 in the zoo’s Safari Park in January. Eight western lowland gorillas received the virus, likely through contact with a zookeeper who tested positive for COVID-19, officials said in January, although staff around the gorillas are working masks at all times.
Wealthy white Florida residents receive vaccines for rural minorities
In Palm Beach County, Florida, where former President Donald Trump lives today, people in affluent white areas are receiving a significant portion of COVID-19 vaccines, which are intended for rural black and Latin American communities.
STAT News reports Although Hispanics make up 21.7% of the county’s population and Blacks make up 18% of the population, as of March 1, they had received only 4.7% and 4.1% of the vaccines, respectively. Together, the two races or ethnic groups make up nearly 40% of the county’s population and had received less than 9% of the doses.
And it’s not just those in the county who take part in vaccination campaigns for poorer neighborhoods. STAT reports that people drove to these events from more than 100 miles away.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and state health officials have been investigated on allegations of preferring wealthy residents for vaccinations. DeSantis has denied any favor.
Contributor: The Associated Press