The novel coronavirus took hold in New York City and was passed through Mardi Gras a year ago. It was in April when so many of those infected people died of COVID-19, 61,016 in all.
In January and February of this year, the United States reported the equivalent of last April’s toll. And also last May, June, July and more. In just the two months of 2021, the U.S. reported more dead than it had in the first six deadly months of the pandemic: 160,209 people, a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows.
There are signs of both hope and worry.
In the last week of February, the U.S. reported about 471,000 new cases and 14,082 deaths. Those are still devastating numbers, but about half the rate of new cases of 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, a USA TODAY analysis of Centers for Disease Control data showed on the last day of February. Many of those shots went to people most at risk of death or serious illness.
But America’s rapid decline in case counts from a peak in January halted. On Sunday, for the first time in more than a month, at least 29 states reported rising case counts. And coronavirus variants continue to spread rapidly across the U.S., capable of spreading more easily, dodging some treatments and immunities, or both.
On the last day of January, the U.S. knew of 471 cases of variants. On the last day of February, that number was 2,463.
– Mike Stucka
Also in the news:
►Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration successfully pressured New York’s health department to strip the full COVID-19 death count attributed to nursing homes from a state report released last July, the New York Times and Wall Street Journal reported. The report indicated more than 6,200 nursing home residents had died, instead of nearly 10,000 who were residents of the homes and died either there or at a hospital.
►Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., forced the Senate to begin reading all 628 pages of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID bill aloud on the Senate floor Thursday, further delaying a vote on the legislation Democrats hope to make law by next week.
►In an effort to protect communities that have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, California officials said the state will implement a plan that allocates 40% of its supply of COVID-19 vaccines to residents in the lowest-income areas.
►Unemployment payments since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic a year ago in Oklahoma have surpassed the payments made during the past 10 years combined by nearly $1.5 billion, the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission said Thursday.
►Traffic deaths in the U.S. increased for the first time in four years in 2020, as coronavirus-induced lockdowns opened roads and led to more reckless driving, according to a report from the nonprofit National Safety Council.
►In Arizona’s Gila County, anyone over the age of 18 can get a COVID-19…
Go to the news source: US cases rise, deaths fall; California; Maryland; Texas