Americans are now dying from COVID-19 at less than half the rate they were a month ago, according to USA TODAY analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.
The 5,453 deaths in the United States from the disease in the week ending Monday are down from 12,263 deaths in a week a month earlier – and down from 21,383 in a week ago to barely two months.
Experts say the US vaccination effort largely targeting the most vulnerable people is helping to reduce the number of deaths. More than 3 million doses of vaccination are given on average each day, up from less than a million in January, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The news is not all good – the United States continues to report high levels of cases. The 452,636 cases reported in the week ending Monday were up 20% from two weeks earlier.
Also in the news:
►President Joe Biden is extending his deadline to April 19 for states to make all U.S. adults eligible for a coronavirus vaccine, a White House official confirmed to USA TODAY. Biden previously announced that 90% of adults would be eligible by April 19 – and have a vaccination site within five miles.
►New York and Maryland on Tuesday joined the growing list of states allowing anyone over the age of 16 to sign up for COVID-19 vaccinations.
► New research suggests that protection from Moderna vaccine lasts for at least six months. The New England Journal of Medicine report on Tuesday echoes what Pfizer said last week about its vaccine.
📈 The numbers of the day: The United States has more than 30.7 million confirmed cases of coronavirus and 555,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Global totals: over 131.8 million cases and 2.8 million deaths. At least 207 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed in the United States and 167 million have been administered, according to the CDC.
📘 What we read: People across the country have also spoken with USA TODAY about their feelings after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Here are their stories.
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Drop Lysol, Sanitizer Likely Not Needed, CDC Says
The race for Lysol and other disinfectants may finally be over. Disinfection to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 at home is probably not necessary, unless someone in your home is sick or someone who is HIV-positive for COVID-19 has been in your home within 24 hours, according to the CDC. in new directions. Cleaning with a household cleaner that contains soap or detergent reduces the amount of germs on surfaces and, in most situations, removes most virus particles from surfaces, the guide says.
“Clean heavily affected surfaces regularly (for example, daily) and after receiving visitors to your home,” the guide says.
Michigan public health officials say 246 people have tested positive for the virus two weeks or more after being fully vaccinated – and three have died. Lynn Sutfin, spokesperson for the state’s health department, told USA TODAY in an email that the positive tests tested a very small fraction of 1% of the 1.7 million people vaccinated in the state. . Two of the three deaths occurred within three weeks of ending the vaccine, she said. All three were 65 years of age or older.
“While the majority of the population develops full immunity within 14 days of completing their vaccine series, a small proportion appears to take longer to mount a full antibody response,” Sutfin wrote.
New York and Maryland will open vaccine eligibility to those aged 16 or older on Tuesday, the day after 12 states did the same as the country continues its race against more mutated forms of the coronavirus spread. . The two states will join a dozen others that have opened vaccination over 16: Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Michigan, South Dakota, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
Federally-run vaccination centers continue to appear, and three more were announced by the White House on Monday. The sites in South Carolina, Colorado and Minnesota bring the total number of vaccination sites to 28. Still, experts have warned of a potential fourth wave of the disease after spring break as students were going home.
Walgreens administered the second dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine a week after federal guidelines say it is ideally administered, but the chain will change its policy to comply with government recommendations. While overtime shouldn’t be a problem, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has asked the drugstore chain to follow its guidelines, The New York Times reported. So far, Walgreens had administered the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine four weeks after the first, the company confirmed to USA TODAY on Monday. Federal guidelines are three weeks.
“We have automatically programmed patients’ second doses to occur at least 28 days after their first dose to ensure that no dose is given earlier than the allowed intervals and that patients are able to complete the dose. round of vaccination, ”Walgreens spokeswoman Rebekah Pajak told an email.
The company is improving its scheduling system to allow people from this week to schedule their second date within the three-week deadline, Pajak said.
– Nathan Bomey
California now has the lowest coronavirus infection rate in the country – months after the state experienced a winter flare that made it the epicenter of the pandemic.
Governor Gavin Newsom bragged on Twitter on the low rate of infection. The Golden State is the only one in the country with a rate below 2%, according to data released by Health and Human Services for the last week of March. The state recorded a positivity rate of 1.7%.
Likewise, Los Angeles County has seen a drastic drop in the number of COVID cases after the region – the most populous county in the entire country – was inundated with COVID-19 cases over the winter.
At the start of the pandemic, California was applauded for its swift actions to curb the spread of the virus, but the strict measures quickly became unpopular. Frustration increased over the winter when the state saw a sudden spike in cases. At one point, the state had a positivity rate of almost 20%. Grievances led to more supporters of the recall effort against the governor.
1.2 million people have contracted COVID-19 in the state and more than 23,000 people have died.
Contributing: Mike Stucka, USA TODAY; The Associated Press