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    DENVER (KCNC-TV) — A new variant of the COVID-19 virus, which is considered more contagious, has been discovered in Colorado. Gov. Jared Polis and state health officials announced Colorado’s first case of the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7, which was previously discovered in the United Kingdom. In a statement, health officials announced: “The Colorado State Laboratory confirmed and notified the Center for Disease Control (CDC) of the case. The individual is a male in his 20s who is currently in isolation in Elbert County and has no travel history. The individual is recovering in isolation and will remain there until cleared by public health officials. The individual has no close contacts identified so far, but public health officials are working to identify other potential cases and contacts through thorough contact tracing interviews.” Public health officials said they are doing a thorough investigation. “There is a lot we don’t know about this new COVID-19 variant,...
    DENVER (AP) — The first reported U.S. case of the COVID-19 variant that’s been seen in the United Kingdom has been discovered in Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis announced Tuesday. The coronavirus variant was found in a man in his 20s who is in isolation southeast of Denver and has no travel history, state health officials said. The Colorado State Laboratory confirmed the virus variant, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was notified. Scientists in the U.K. believe the new virus variant is more contagious than previously identified strains of the SARS-CoV-2. The vaccines being given now are thought to be effective against the variant, Colorado health officials said in a news release. Public health officials are investigating other potential cases and performing contract tracing to determine the spread of the variant throughout the state. “There is a lot we don’t know about this new COVID-19 variant, but...
    Colorado officials confirmed the first known case in the U.S. of the new coronavirus mutation that has spread rapidly across the U.K. “The individual is recovering in isolation and will remain there until cleared by public health officials,” Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said Tuesday, adding that the patient “has no close contacts identified so far but public health officials are working to identify other potential cases and contacts through thorough contact tracing interviews.” State public health officials said the patient is a male in his 20s who has not traveled recently to a place where he may have been exposed to the mutated virus, which is thought to be more contagious. The renewed outbreak in the U.K. prompted roughly 40 countries to block entry to travelers from Britain. “There is a lot we don’t know about this new COVID-19 variant, but scientists in the United Kingdom are...
    DENVER (CBS4) – A new variant of the COVID-19 virus, which is considered more contagious, has been discovered in Colorado. Gov. Jared Polis and state health officials announced Colorado’s first case of the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7, which was previously discovered in the United Kingdom. (credit: CBS) “The Colorado State Laboratory confirmed and notified the Center for Disease Control (CDC) of the case. The individual is a male in his 20s who is currently in isolation in Elbert County and has no travel history. “The individual is recovering in isolation and will remain there until cleared by public health officials. The individual has no close contacts identified so far, but public health officials are working to identify other potential cases and contacts through thorough contact tracing interviews.” Public health officials said they are doing a thorough investigation. “There is a lot we don’t know about this new COVID-19 variant, but scientists...
    Colorado has announced it has detected the first case of the mutant COVID-19 strain first found in the UK. Governor Jared Polis said in a tweet: 'Today we discovered Colorado’s first case of the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7, the same variant discovered in the UK. The health and safety of Coloradans is our top priority and we will monitor this case, as well as all COVID-19 indicators, very closely.' In a statement he said the Colorado State Laboratory confirmed the case and notified the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The case was detected in a man in his 20s who is 'currently in isolation in Elbert County and has no travel history.'  The fact the man has not traveled tells officials he caught the strain from someone else in the US. He will remain in isolation until he is cleared by health officials. The statement adds: 'The individual has no close...
    By MICHELLE LIU, Associated Press/Report for America COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Beleaguered city and hospital leaders in the region of South Carolina hardest hit by the coronavirus rebuked residents who plan to party in large crowds for New Year's Eve as completely full hospitals have already reached a breaking point Tuesday. In the Upstate, where COVID-19 infection rates continue to outpace every other part of South Carolina, some event organizers are still selling tickets to New Year's Eve celebrations. Greenville officials said Tuesday they had received multiple complaints from residents about the planned festivities, adding that city has denied several requests for special permits to hold large events. “It's horribly unfair and irresponsible to the men and women in the health care community, the nurses and doctors who are fighting this on the front lines," Greenville Mayor Knox White told reporters. Greenville law enforcement officials say they will be patrolling...
    Robyn Beck/Getty Images The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has asked the entertainment industry to “strongly consider pausing” production for the next couple of weeks due to the surge in coronavirus cases in the state. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) issued an emergency authority order earlier this month, asking residents to “cancel everything” amid the recent spike, yet Hollywood has continued to film. Hollywood studios, however, are exempt from the order, as the state has deemed the entertainment industry a “critical infrastructure,” allowing them to continue filming. The pandemic has been hard on film productions, as box office revenue hit a 40 year low this month, perhaps explaining the industry’s desperate desire to continue working. Although still permitted to resume production, health officials sent entertainment contacts an email on December 24 requesting that they temporarily stop operations. “Although music, TV and film productions are allowed to operate,...
    Nearly 6,000 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized in Pennsylvania, which has seen record levels of cases across the state this past week, authorities said. . The Keystone State has averaged more than 5,000 patients in the hospital every day during the past week due to COVID-19, state officials said on Tuesday. That's an all-time high for the state since the coronavirus epidemic arrived in  In fact, it's nearly double the state's last peak in spring, officials said. It also coincides with the nation's peak for hospitalizations which was recorded on Monday, according to The Hill.  A total of 1,174 coronavirus patients were in Intensive Care Units on Monday, Pennsylvania officials said. Coronavirus hospitalizations in the United States also hit an all-time high on Monday, with more than 121,000 people hospitalized nationwide, according to the COVID Tracking Project. The national figure includes 22,592 intensive care patients, an increase from 16 percent capacity in...
    CHICAGO — Health care workers in Chicago can now sign up to get vaccinated against coronavirus. The city has vaccinated more than 20,000 people so far, but those vaccinations have largely been done among people who work in hospitals. Starting Tuesday, though, Chicago’s Department of Public Health is vaccinating outpatient health care workers. A mass vaccination site for health care workers has been set up at Malcolm X College, and officials have said there are more to come. But people must sign up in advance and make an appointment to get vaccinated the site or elsewhere. RELATED: Chicago’s Top Doctor Gets Coronavirus Vaccine Publicly While Urging Others To Get One Vaccinations are available to all kinds of outpatient health care workers, including morticians and people working in dentist offices, correctional facilities and homeless shelters. “Every person, every vaccine that we give here in Chicago takes us one step closer to...
    (CNN)As a parent, I know that one of the first rules of parenting is to model the behavior I want to see. "Do as I say, not as I do" is rarely an effective strategy: My children notice even the slightest whiff of double standard between my words and my actions. This holds true for simple things, like not snacking before dinner, as well as the big things, like Covid-19 precautions. I can't get together with friends and then tell them they're not allowed to do so. Megan Ranney Our politicians and appointed officials are certainly not parents, but they do serve as leaders and role models. And -- just like parents -- their language and messaging on Covid-19 matters. Their actions matter. What matters most of all is the concordance between the two. Consistent disregard for public health principles has a negative effect, of course. The Covid-denying activities...
    LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho State Board of Education has approved a new graduate program for Lewis-Clark State College. The Lewiston Tribune reports the board unanimously approved the plan earlier this month for the nursing management and leadership degree. The graduate certificate program will be 13 credits, fully online. Now LCSC officials must submit the program to the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities for approval. School officials said the idea for the program originated from a request from Kootenai Health in Coeur d’Alene. Kootenai Health says there’s a need for advanced educational opportunities. The decision is also supported by St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, school officials said, which needs more nurses that can take on leadership roles at its hospital. The program will have a capacity of 20 students, and the cost for full-time, in-state students will be $9,000. LCSC President Cynthia Pemberton said the college already has...
    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Health officials in Alaska are still determining who will receive the coronavirus vaccine and when because the number of available doses remains limited. The Alaska Division of Public Health has administered about 11,800 doses as of Friday in the first phase of vaccination that began this month, the Anchorage Daily News reported Monday. The state had about 60,000 doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines available for this month, but it's unclear how many vaccines are allotted for January, health officials said. The initial stage of vaccination included residents and staff at long-term care facilities, hospital-based health care workers, emergency personnel, community health aides and people who are performing vaccinations. The next tier of people in the first phase are expected to receive vaccines next month and include those who work in health care settings who are at the highest risk of exposure and also considered...
    SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Health officials in Santa Clara County reported 1,715 new COVID-19 cases on Monday afternoon, bringing the total to 66,270 since the start of the pandemic. The staggering numbers are concerning as the county braces for an anticipated spike in the coming weeks due to holiday travel.ICU CAPACITY: How close we are to the 15% threshold and California's new stay-at-home order"This level of hospitalizations has never happened during my career," said Gloria de la Merced, an administrator at Saint Louise Regional Hospital in Gilroy, which has no ICU beds available. "Every day we see the seriousness of this disease."The LatinX community has been hardest hit and represents more than half of all cases, while being only a quarter of the county's population. Within this group, officials point to multi-generational housing as well as a larger number of service workers as contributing factors to the spread of...
    U.S. airports screened well over one million people on Sunday, the highest number since the beginning of the pandemic in March, according to the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Two days following Christmas, TSA screened roughly 1.28 million passengers. While that number is still significantly lower than last year’s, it marks the biggest day of travel since officials across the nation began to take serious action against the Chinese coronavirus in March. According to Reuters, Sunday “was the sixth day in the last 10 that volume surpassed 1 million” despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cautioning Americans to avoid nonessential domestic travel as cases of the virus spike across the country. “Travel can increase your chance of spreading and getting COVID-19. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19,” the CDC said. The CDC has also urged testing before and after travel, contending that it could...
    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois’ death toll due to the COVID-19 pandemic now tops 16,000 with the numbers released Monday by state public health officials. The Illinois Department of Public Health reports 4,453 new confirmed and possible cases of the virus. With the accompanying 105 deaths, the state’s death toll rose to 16,074. The new COVID-19 cases were found among 51,406 tests conducted over the last 24 hours. The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from Dec. 21 to Dec. 27, is 8.7%. As of late Sunday, 4,243 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of that number, 884 patients were in intensive care units and 515 patients were on ventilators. Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Tags: Illinois, Associated Press
    (CNN)To end the Covid-19 pandemic through the most ambitious vaccination campaign in US history, everyone expects state and local public health professionals to do more. But as they ramp up, these officials face continued resistance, harassment and sometimes death threats for encouraging mask usage, social distancing and other preventive measures. Howard Koh Michael Fraser To achieve a healthy new year by vaccinating the necessary 75% to 85% of Americans (far exceeding the percentage that receive annual flu shots), we all must first give public health professionals their own "shot in the arm": recognition, support and resources from policymakers and the public.Now is the time for the nation to rally behind public health professionals -- an often invisible, underappreciated workforce -- as they orchestrate all the highly visible aspects of vaccination from invention to injection. Following Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization of the first two Covid-19 vaccines, overstretched...
    TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and other state officials will provide an update on the state’s COVID-19 response on Monday afternoon. You can watch the press conference on CBSN Philly beginning at 1 p.m. in the player above. What: Governor Murphy, Department of Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli, Department of Health Communicable Disease Service Medical Director Dr. Edward Lifshitz, and State Police Superintendent Colonel Patrick Callahan to Hold Coronavirus Briefing Where: George Washington Ballroom, Trenton War Memorial, 1 Memorial Dr., Trenton, NJ MORE ON CBSPHILLY.COM Federal Judge Rejects Restaurants’ Challenge Of Indoor Dining Ban In Pennsylvania Amid Skepticism, ER Doctor Wants To Educate Black Community About Vaccine’s Safety Philadelphia Eagles’ Playoff Hopes Dashed In 37-17 Loss To Dallas Cowboys
    With 13,580 new cases logged on Sunday, Dec. 27, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported more than 40,000 new positive COVID-19 cases since Christmas Day. State officials, meanwhile, are expected to extend the strictest stay-home orders in Southern California on Monday as hospitals are quickly running out of intensive-care unit beds for coronavirus patients ahead of a presumed post-holiday surge. L.A. County health officials reported 44 new COVID-related fatalities Sunday — bringing the total since Christmas to 180 and 9,482 overall — but added that the death toll is under-reported because of weekend and holiday reporting delays. Overall, the county has reported 719,833 cases since the pandemic began. Sunday’s hospitalization total climbed to 6,815 people — up from 6,770 on Saturday and 6,499 on Christmas Eve — with 20% of patients being treated in intensive-care units. With the situation already dire, the worst is expected to come...
    SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KGO) -- Despite the pandemic and pleas from public health experts, millions of holiday travelers are returning from family get-togethers across the country and here in the Bay Area.Michael Garrick from San Leandro just arrived back in the Bay Area wearing a mask and face shield, after a trip to LA to spend Christmas with family."It was different, we didn't see friends outside our bubble, still had a really good time," said Garrick.VIDEO: Holiday travelers arriving in Bay Area say they'll quarantine for Christmas, if they have toEMBED More News Videos Less than a week before Christmas, it's normally a time when many families head out to spend time with friends and relatives. But this year is anything but normal and travel is discouraged by the state. Michael says he plans to quarantine after his trip. That's what health officials are urging travelers arriving back in...
    (CNN) — With Christmas in the rear view mirror, public health experts are bracing for yet another surge in Covid-19 cases, similar to those seen after other US holidays in recent months. “We’ve just seen these amplification events, and that’s what’s happened at the end of this year in the US,” said Erin Bromage, an associate professor of biology at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. “We had Thanksgiving, we had Labor Day, we had Halloween, and each one of these events brought lots of people together and just gave the virus more fuel to move through the population,” Bromage said. “Christmas is going to do a similar thing.” Despite warnings by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to postpone travel and stay home, more than 7.1 million people were screened at TSA checkpoints over the last week, according to the agency’s numbers. Nearly 1.2 million people were screened...
    (CNN) — The Transportation Security Administration says it screened 1,128,773 people at airports nationwide on Saturday, the latest sign traveling public is not staying home for the holidays despite warnings from health officials. The new number is close to Wednesday’s pandemic record when nearly 1.2 million people flew — and represents the third-busiest day for US air travel since it cratered in March. While Saturday TSA traffic was just 45% of the air traffic a day after Christmas a year ago, it means many people are still traveling — something Dr. Anthony Fauci called “concerning” when speaking to Wolf Blitzer last week. Earlier this month, the CDC ratcheted up language urging people to not travel. Air travel has spiked over the past week, when US air travel numbers hit near or more than a million passengers for six straight days. TSA numbers show that, about 9 million people were screened...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health officials believe the coronavirus mutation that set off alarms in parts of Britain is no more apt to cause serious illness or be resistant to vaccines than the strain afflicting people in the United States but it still must be taken “very seriously,” the government’s top infectious disease expert said Sunday. Dr. Anthony Fauci endorsed the decision of U.S. officials to require negative COVID-19 tests before letting people from Britain enter the U.S. He declined to weigh in on whether that step should have been taken sooner. He said the variant strain is something “to follow very carefully” and “we’re looking at it very intensively now.” He said: “Does it make someone more ill? Is it more serious virus in the sense of virulence? And the answer is, it doesn’t appear to be that way.” British officials are telling their U.S. colleagues it appears that...
    Associated Press TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Florida ticked upward by 7,000, health officials reported Sunday. The new cases reported Sunday brought the state's tally to more than 1.25 million since the outbreak began earlier this year. More than 21,200 Floridians have now died from COVID-19 — with more than 70 new deaths added to the death toll on Sunday. The number of people tested for COVID-19 was considerably lower over the past two days, and it remains to be seen whether or not gatherings over the Christmas weekend will spike the state’s number of infections — as the was the case following the Thanksgiving holiday. More than 171,000 people were tested for the virus on Friday and Saturday — dramatically lower than the 343,000 who were tested in the two days before. More than 6,300 people were in the hospital Sunday because of...
    SAN FRANCISCO -- A new variant of the coronavirus that has been spreading through the UK and other countries has not yet been detected in the United States, according to the CDC. But that doesn't mean it hasn't shown up yet."I wouldn't be surprised that it's already here," said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease professor at UCSF School of Medicine, referring to the new coronavirus variant.RELATED: Fears of UK's rapid-spreading COVID-19 strain prompt flight bans in several EU nationsHe says unlike the UK, the United States has not done much genomic testing on positive COVID-19 samples to track emerging variants."Mainly because we have so many numbers," said Chin-Hong.EMBED More News Videos The state's stay-at-home order for Southern California was originally set to expire Monday, but with ICUs reporting almost no available capacity, it is likely to be extended well into 2021. The CDC says out of 17 million positive...
    Washington (CNN Business)The Transportation Security Administration says it screened 1,128,773 people at airports nationwide on Saturday, the latest sign traveling public is not staying home for the holidays despite warnings from health officials. The new number is close to Wednesday's pandemic record when nearly 1.2 million people flew — and represents the third-busiest day for US air travel since it cratered in March. While Saturday TSA traffic was just 45% of the air traffic a day after Christmas a year ago, it means many people are still traveling — something Dr. Anthony Fauci called "concerning" when speaking to Wolf Blitzer last week. Earlier this month, the CDC ratcheted up language urging people to not travel.Air travel has spiked over the past week, when US air travel numbers hit near or more than a million passengers for six straight days. TSA numbers show that, about 9 million people were screened at...
    State health officials in New York are investigating a New York City health care provider regarding an alleged violation of protocol as part of the state's rollout of the coronavirus vaccine.  ParCare Community Health Network in Brooklyn may have "fraudulently obtained COVID-19 vaccine, transferred it to facilities in other parts of the state in violation of state guidelines and diverted it to members of the public - contrary to the state’s plan to administer it first to frontline healthcare workers, as well as nursing home residents and staffers,” according to New York Health Commissioner Howard Zucker.  The company told Reuters it was cooperating with the criminal investigation and said it aims “to provide critical healthcare services and administer COVID-19 vaccinations to those qualified to receive them under the New York State Department of Health’s guidelines, which includes frontline healthcare workers and first responders.” A report surfaced in The New York Times last week detailing how NewYork-Presbyterian...
    New York police and the state's Department of Health are investigating Parcare Community Health Network saying it may have "fraudulently" used Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine.  New York Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said Saturday that Parcare "may have fraudulently obtained COVID-19 vaccine, transferred it to facilities in other parts of the state in violation of state guidelines and diverted it to members of the public - contrary to the state's plan to administer it first to frontline health care workers, as well as nursing home residents and staffers." Boxes containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are prepared to be shipped at the McKesson distribution center in Olive Branch, Miss., Dec. 20. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, Pool) CHINESE VACCINES ARE POISED TO FILL THE GAP, BUT WILL THEY WORK? On Monday, Gary Schlesinger, the CEO and president of ParCare, told BoroPark24 that its clinics are vetting people who sign up for the vaccine to make sure...
    SARA REARDON, Kaiser Health News WOLF POINT, Mont. (AP) — Fallen pine cones covered 16-year-old Leslie Keiser’s fresh grave at the edge of Wolf Point, a small community on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation on the eastern Montana plains. Leslie, whose father is a member of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, is one of at least two teenagers on the reservation who died by suicide this summer. A third teen’s death is under investigation, authorities said. Leslie’s mother, Natalie Keiser, was standing beside the grave recently when she received a text with a photo of the headstone she had ordered. She looked at her phone and then back at the grave of the girl who took her own life in September. “I wish she would have reached out and let us know what was wrong,” she told Kaiser Health News. In a typical year, Native American youth die...
    As demand for precious hospital space continued to rise on Friday, Dec. 25, Los Angeles county public health officials were asking testing labs to look for a variant of COVID-19  —  reported in the United Kingdom — that appears to be more transmissible than other strains. In a memo issued Thursday, public health officials asked that laboratories help with “surveillance to detect the variant strain and to report any occurrence” of it to them. This strain is believed to be potentially more transmissible than others that have been circulating, but there is no evidence that it results in more severe illness or greater risk of death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The county memo, issued to healthcare providers, came as Los Angeles county experiences a record-breaking surge that on Thursday resulted in a report that 148 people who tested positive for COVID-19 died in a single...
    LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Gov. Gavin Newsom has said that there have been no reported cases in California of a mutated strain of COVID-19 that was first reported in the United Kingdom, but Los Angeles County has started testing for it. On Thursday, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health sent out a memo asking laboratories to review data from positive coronavirus tests and report any unusual findings back to the department. RELATED: LA County Hospitals In A Crisis On Christmas Day As Officials Beg People To Stay Home The mutated strain is a concern, because scientists said it could make the virus up to 70% more transmissible — meaning it would more easily pass from person to person. Dr. Barbara Ferrer, public health director, said a lab is doing gene sequencing to test virus samples for the new strain — a process that should take about one week,...
    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada health officials report 214,064 total known COVID-19 cases as of Friday, up 1,853 from the total Thursday. Some 2,943 related deaths have been recorded, up 27 from Thursday's numbers. The latest death toll comes as unemployment benefits are scheduled to expire tomorrow for around 200,000 laid-off workers, and state officials urge residents not to mix households for in-person holiday visits. “Merry Christmas, Nevada! Remember to celebrate this special day safely with household members and virtually with family & friends,” wrote Gov. Steve Sisolak on Twitter, following a sterner message on Thursday. “And thank you to all those working today — from our nurses, to police officers & all essential workers. We appreciate you!” For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people...
    By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN and MORGAN LEE, Associated Press ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — From lockdowns in tribal communities to the economic and social fallout reverberating through every facet of life in New Mexico, the coronavirus pandemic dominated headlines in 2020. COVID-19 infections were on track to top 140,000 by the end of the year, with the curve taking its steepest rise in November as part of what state health officials described as the third surge to hit New Mexico. By the start of December, nearly 1,600 New Mexicans had succumbed to the virus. Three weeks later, the death toll had increased by more than 40%. Hospitals warned they were on the brink of being overrun as available beds became scarce. Some of the pressure eased just before Christmas as new infections tapered off. New Mexico had among the toughest public health restrictions in the nation early on as Democratic Gov....
    Los Angeles County reported 140 COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, the largest number of fatalities counted in a single day in the county as coronavirus cases continue to surge. Over 13,000 COVID-19 cases were also reported on Wednesday alone, according to a tally from the Los Angeles Times.  County health officials have warned health care providers not to send patients to area emergency rooms unless necessary, the newspaper reported. The officials also sent a memo to health care providers on Wednesday saying that local hospitals have reached a breaking point. “It is critical that as a healthcare community we look at all available opportunities to help decrease the surge on hospitals and our 911 system, where possible,” Dr. Sharon Balter, the county’s chief of communicable disease control and prevention, wrote in the memo, according to the Times.  L.A. County has reported an average of 13,789 coronavirus cases per day over the...
    On Christmas Eve, Los Angeles County public health officials made a last-minute plea to residents preparing to celebrate the holiday: Don’t attend indoor church services — it’s not safe. In a statement posted Thursday on the Department of Public Health’s website, officials said they recognized that people have a “sincere desire” for a return to normalcy and to attend in-person indoor services as they have in the past. “Now, most unfortunately, is not the time to attend indoor religious services,” the message said. “The County of Los Angeles is in the midst of its highest surge of COVID-19 cases. The local emergency rooms and hospitals are over-capacity. And there are no indications of an end in sight to the current surge.” The statement added: “Attending an indoor service will result in transmission of COVID-19 and additional hospitalizations that the healthcare system cannot handle at this time.” L.A. County reported one...
    Los Angeles County public health officials are asking residents to avoid attending religious services despite recent court rulings that reversed such bans on indoor worship.  The request comes as California topped 2 million COVID-19 cases, according to government figures. Religious services became a point of contention as county officials issued lockdown orders and some places of worship have opened in defiance.  "No matter what a Superior Court judge says and given what’s happening now, it is simply too risky to gather indoors with other people who do not live with you," the L.A. County Department of Public Health said Thursday in a statement. CHRISTMAS CHURCH SERVICES WILL LOOK DIFFERENT AMID PANDEMIC VideoThe county reversed its indoor worship ban over the weekend after a Supreme Court ruling that sided with a Southern California church that challenged the restrictions.  Around 14,000 Los Angeles County residents are testing positive for the coronavirus each day, the Public Health...
    BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- We've heard pleas from health officials for families not to do traditional gatherings for Christmas. Busy airports indicate some lack of compliance. The question is why? Researchers at U.C. Berkeley and Harvard say It has to do with deep-seated rituals.By tradition, this is a time to gather, to join crowds shopping, to go to church. Some people are either ignoring or dismissing pleas to forego these traditions for public safety. Researchers tell us it has to do with religious and secular rituals.RELATED: San Jose church continues defying COVID-19 orders with plans for an indoor Christmas Eve service"When peoples' rituals are altered, they respond with moral outrage, they feel angry, they judge the alteration to be wrong, and we find that this moral outrage persists, even when you have a good reason for altering the ritual," said Daniel Stein, a researcher and Ph.D. candidate at the Haas...
    SAN FRANCISCO —  San Francisco and Santa Clara are California’s only two counties that have enacted orders requiring travelers to quarantine on arriving in their jurisdictions. But unlike in New York state, it is unclear whether authorities are doing much to publicize or enforce the order. Kristen Green, a radiologic technologist at Kaiser Permanente, said she didn’t notice any signs or fliers as she left San Francisco International Airport’s Terminal 3 on Wednesday, after arriving on a flight from Denver. “It’s possible there were signs,” she said. “I can’t say I was paying a whole lot of attention.” She had gone to Colorado to say goodbye to her father, who died of cancer. On Wednesday, the Transportation Security Administration recorded the nation’s highest single day of travel since the pandemic began, with the TSA screening 1,191,123 individuals passing through airports. That is higher than the record set on the Sunday...
    SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — The Orange County Health Care Agency Thursday reported 3,490 newly confirmed coronavirus cases and one additional fatality, bringing countywide totals to 138,310 cases and 1,782 deaths. An ambulance is seen Dec. 16 outside of UCI Medical Center in Orange. (Photo by Bing Guan/Bloomberg via Getty Images) Health officials also reported a new record-high hospitalizations, with 1,893 COVID-19 patients hospitalized — a jump of 30 from Wednesday. Of those hospitalized, 405 were being treated in intensive care units — also a pandemic high. Health officials continued to urge people to stay home and refrain from gathering over the holiday weekend as the county’s state-adjusted ICU bed availability remained at zero. The county’s adjusted daily case rate per 100,000 stood at 51.8 Thursday, unchanged from Wednesday, and the positivity rate held steady at 15.2%. Next week, county officials will debut an app developed to help doctors and nurses...
    Boots Health officials in Douglas County, Oregon, said last week that one person who went to work sick with COVID-19 caused two outbreaks of the virus. Officials said that at least seven people died from COVID-19 as a result of the person going to work, and at least 300 people were forced to quarantine.  Officials referred to the person's decision to go to work as a "superspreader action." Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. A person living in southern Oregon knowingly went to work while sick, and likely caused seven people to die from COVID-19 and forced more than 300 people into quarantine, health officials said. Douglas County officials said last week that the person had "unwittingly and unconsciously" chose to go to work while sick, and later tested positive for COVID-19. It's unclear exactly when the the person went to work or where they are employed,...
    By SEAN MURPHY, Associated Press OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma health officials say they don’t plan to follow all of the new federal guidelines for coronavirus vaccine distribution and will keep adults 65 and older in Phase Two of the state's distribution protocol. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines over the weekend to prioritize people aged 75 and older and front-line essential workers in Phase Two of the vaccine rollout. But Oklahoma Health Commissioner Dr. Lance Frye said in a statement late Wednesday that the state’s advisory committee decided it would be problematic to prioritize young and healthy workers over Oklahomans in the 65-74 age group. “While we always take CDC recommendations into consideration, in this particular case, our advisory and planning committees do not feel comfortable implementing an automatic change at this time," Frye said. “We believe the current priority groups as outlined by...
    LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles International Airport was bustling with travelers looking to get away this holiday despite warnings from officials to avoid unnecessary air travel. While the American Automobile Association (AAA) estimated that more than 76% of Southern Californians plan to stay home during the holidays this year, there were still thousands of people flying. Lines stretched through the terminals at LAX on Wednesday as holiday travelers waited to board their flights just two days before Christmas. Travelers said they were anxious to get out of the state after the on-and-off lockdowns that have been in place over the past 10 months of the pandemic, but according to airport rules, they were wearing masks. “We’re just looking forward to being somewhere warm and sunny and be outside, away from everything and by ourselves,” said passenger Ben Walpole. LAX officials said that while it may look busy, travel is...
    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — State health officials said Wednesday that a national delay in some shipments of the Moderna vaccine will hit some Minnesota providers, and blizzard conditions could further complicate the shipping glitch. Minnesota infectious disease director Kris Ehresmann said during a media briefing Wednesday that four providers across the state were notified of delays in shipments of the Moderna vaccine, which received emergency approval over the weekend. A winter storm expected to drop several inches of snow on the state may aggravate the situation, Ehresmann said. State health officials are expecting to receive 94,800 doses in its initial shipment of the Moderna vaccine this week, with most of it arriving on Wednesday. A spokesman for the state health department said the four delayed orders are “very small in size” compared to the state’s total allotment. Ehresmann said more than 11,500 healthcare workers across Minnesota have been vaccinated as of...
    By JOHN HANNA, Associated Press TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly said Wednesday that Kansas should stop giving local officials the final say over the state's response to the coronavirus pandemic because experience has shown “a patchwork approach” does not work. Kelly made the comments during an Associated Press interview a day after she and her top health administrator argued that Kansas is now controlling the spread of COVID-19 despite its high case numbers. They argued that the state is seeing the benefits of a “unified” state strategy to boost testing and an increased willingness by the state's 105 counties to require people to wear masks, which she has pushed for months. The governor also said she would like legislators to rewrite a law that allows people exposed to COVID-19 to avoid providing information that would allow health officials to trace their close contacts. The law was enacted...
    LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- California is quickly nearing a disturbing milestone, likely just days away from reporting 2 million coronavirus cases.With the rise in cases comes a surge in hospitalizations, and many medical facilities in Southern California report they are at full capacity. Los Angeles County for the first time is reporting more than 6,000 people hospitalized for COVID-19.Still, hope is appearing on the horizon, as the region has now started receiving the Moderna vaccine, in addition to the Pfizer vaccine that began distribution earlier this month.Hospitalizations have been increasing so sharply that healthcare providers are again issuing a plea to Californians to take precautions against the virus, particularly with the upcoming holidays."Today we're over 100% of our usual patient volume," said Greg Adams, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente. "And of that volume 52% of our inpatients are patients diagnosed with COVID."Adams added that 16 of Kaiser's 36 hospitals...
    A team of scientists leading a World Health Organization mission to China to investigate the origins of the novel coronavirus is not looking to assign guilt to the communist regime over its failure to prevent the pandemic, a member of the delegation says. “This is not about finding a guilty country or a guilty authority,” Fabian Leendertz, a scientist at the Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s infectious disease agency, told Agence France-Presse (AFP), the French media outlet. “This is about understanding what happened to avoid that in the future, to reduce the risk.” Leendertz and a team of 10 other scientists will visit Wuhan, China in January to investigate how the virus jumped from animals to humans, according to AFP. Most scientists believe that the virus transmitted from an animal to a human at one of Wuhan’s open-air food markets. Western health officials have long criticized the Chinese government for doing...
    PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — New Jersey and Pennsylvania health officials are urging people to stay vigilant against COVID-19 and not let their guard down with the holidays upon us. As we head into Christmas and New Year’s, health officials are urging people to stay safe. There are currently over 6,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations across the state of Pennsylvania — double the peak we saw in the spring. About 20% of them are in the intensive care unit. So far, Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine says 41,000 health care workers have been vaccinated. The state wants to ensure every health care worker who wants to be vaccinated will be. “Our message today to hospitals is to start to reach out and to work together with EMS providers and agencies, as well as other non-affiliated health care providers, and work together to get vaccinated as soon as possible,” Dr. Levine said. The Centers...
    [The stream is slated to start at 3:30 p.m. ET. Please refresh the page if you do not see a player above at that time.] Officials from the Health and Human Services Department and Pentagon are holding a joint briefing Wednesday on the Trump administration's Covid-19 vaccine program Operation Warp Speed as Americans receive some of the first shots. Just over 1 million people in the U.S. have received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine as of Wednesday morning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's a far cry from the federal government's goal to inoculate 20 million Americans by the end of the year. Earlier Wednesday, National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins said that if the U.S. government doesn't meet its vaccine goal by the end of this month he hopes Americans "will understand this is a logistic challenge of enormous proportion." "Frankly,...
    CHICAGO (AP) — More than 100,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Wednesday. The update comes the same day Illinois reported another 6,762 cases and 135 deaths. More than 15,500 people in the state have died from COVID-19 with 918,070 total known cases. Public health officials renewed their requests for people to limit travel and interactions outside their households during the holidays. While Illinois overall seemed to have avoided a post-Thanksgiving surge seen in other states, the death rate has remained high following soaring case counts earlier in November. Chicago health officials have said the city did report a spike in infections after Thanksgiving. “The best way to avoid another surge in hospitalizations, another surge in deaths, another surge in new infections is to celebrate the holidays at home with the family you currently live with,” Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the state public health director,...
    By SEAN MURPHY, Associated Press OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The arrival of doses of the newly approved Moderna vaccine in Oklahoma week will expedite the state's effort to quickly deliver vaccinations because it doesn't require the same ultra-cold storage as the Pfizer shot, health officials said Wednesday. Deputy Health Commissioner Keith Reed said Oklahoma received 66,200 doses of the Moderna vaccine this week that will be distributed to more than 150 federally qualified health centers across the state. “Moderna is much easier on the logistics side," Reed said. “The Moderna vaccine gives us options to send it to locations that don't have the storage facilities for Pfizer." Reed said Oklahoma has received more than 131,000 total doses of both vaccines this week, and health officials have said people in the second phase of the vaccine distribution plan could begin receiving vaccinations as early as next week. That includes first responders...
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    A California doctor was fired after he questioned the effectiveness of coronavirus lockdowns in his state. "All the data that I am aware of, looking at children and the virus, shows that it’s safe" to reopen schools, Dr. Michael Deboisblanc told Fox News. "There are many other states now that have months of track records showing that it’s safe for their kids to go back to school. And the state of California and the county is just not making that possible." "These are restaurants that are just trying to survive and keep their doors open," he added. "It’s been very difficult for them." Deboisblanc was fired from his position as trauma medical director for John Muir Health after he sent a letter to Contra Costa County health officials saying officials should end a stay-at-home order back in May. "Personally, I think it's time," he said this spring of...
    SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota health officials on Wednesday urged people to take coronavirus precautions during the holidays, saying gatherings threaten to undo the state's recent success in slowing infections. December has been marked with good news, with new cases continuing to decline and COVID-19 vaccines arriving. The Department of Health reported 531 more people tested positive and no new deaths. However, the state this month has still reported the nation's highest rate of deaths per capita. Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon said the arrival of the state’s first allotments of vaccine and the absence of a post-Thanksgiving spike in cases offered some reason for hope, though holiday gatherings still posed a threat. “We really do have a light at the end of this tunnel, we just need people to hang in there,” she said. Health officials worried that people would let their guards down during the holiday,...
    SACRAMENTO (CBS SF/AP) — With staffs stretched to the breaking point and hospital rooms continuing to fill up as COVID cases continue to soar, state health care providers were begging Californians to pull back on their holiday gathering and travel plans. If they don’t, the crush will get overwhelming. The providers are asking Californians to please “don’t share your air” “We simply will not be able to keep up if the COVID surge continues to increase,” Kaiser Permanente chairman and CEO Greg Adams said. “We’re at or near capacity everywhere.” California’s health care system is in the throes of a coronavirus crisis stemming from ill-advised Thanksgiving gatherings, forcing top executives from the state’s largest hospital systems to put out a desperate call for residents to avoid a Christmas repeat. Increasingly exhausted staff, many pressed into service outside their normal duties, are now attending to virus patients stacked up in hallways...
    With thousands of COVID-19 vaccine doses from two companies being readied for distribution to Illinois, officials are detailing vaccination plans. Nearly 64,000 health care workers had been vaccinated in Illinois as of Saturday. The Illinois Department of Public Health said in the coming weeks the state will receive 120,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 320,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine. During a Restore Illinois virtual hearing on Tuesday, Andrew Friend, deputy director of the Office of Preparedness and Response with IDPH, said officials are trying to pinpoint the exact number of doses to certain areas to minimize waste. “Vaccine wastage happens normally with vaccination operations across the world,” he said. “Someone can drop a syringe, someone can drop a vial, these things happen, but what we are trying to do at the state level is prevent any type of wide-scale wastage.” Friend said it...
    TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — Gov. Phil Murphy and other state officials will be giving an update on New Jersey’s coronavirus response during a Wednesday afternoon press conference. You can watch the press conference live on CBSN Philly at 1 p.m. in the video player above. When: 1:00 p.m. What: Governor Murphy, Department of Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli, Department of Health Communicable Disease Service Medical Director Dr. Edward Lifshitz, and State Police Superintendent Colonel Patrick Callahan to Hold Coronavirus Briefing Where: George Washington Ballroom, Trenton War Memorial, 1 Memorial Dr., Trenton, NJ
    PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to travel Wednesday ahead of the Christmas holiday, despite health officials telling people to stay home due to the pandemic. At Philadelphia International Airport air travel is down considerably compared to last year’s holiday season. AAA says some 75% of Americans are expected to stay home for the holiday season. According to their holiday travel forecast, people are choosing to stay home because of public health concerns. Health officials are telling people to stay home and an overall decline in consumer sentiment. AAA says travelers are taking a “wait and see” approach to traveling. They say it is directly linked to the surge in coronavirus cases. Philadelphia recorded 928 additional confirmed cases on Tuesday. Following Thanksgiving, Philadelphia’s Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said the surge in cases was worse than he anticipated and he’s urging Philadelphians to stay home. If you...
    Less than a week after the Food and Drug Administration authorized an emergency rollout of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine, Virginia health officials said that tens of thousands of its doses would soon be distributed statewide. Virginia had placed an order for 140,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine — the second vaccine approved for widespread use by federal officials. Those doses are expected Thursday at the state’s regional health departments and care facilities. “Both the previously-approved Pfizer vaccine and Moderna vaccines are being distributed to 96 sites this week at geographically diverse locations,” the Virginia Department of Health said in a statement. In addition to the 140,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine, Virginia also received 50,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine this week. “Virginia is planning for a weekly allocation of a total of 100,000 doses of vaccine (about 50,000 doses of each type of vaccine) for the next few weeks,” VDH...
    LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Tuesday reported 12,954 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases and 88 deaths, bringing countywide totals to 647,542 cases and 9,016 deaths. Travelers wait in line to check in for a flight at the Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport amid a COVID-19 surge in Southern California. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images) “Unfortunately, today marks another tragic milestone as we acknowledge and grieve the more than 9,000 residents that have passed away from COVID-19,” Dr. Barbara Ferrer, public health director, said. “Our actions have an impact on the health and well-being of many people in our county, and not following the public health rules has deadly consequences.” In just two weeks, the county has recorded more than 1,000 COVID-19 deaths — an average of 73 deaths per day for 14 days. Of the newly reported deaths, 31 people...
    By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, Associated Press ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico health officials said Tuesday they are hoping to boost the number of people getting tested for COVID-19 through a new program that will provide free, at-home test kits to anyone who requests one. Through a partnership with Vault Medical Services, the saliva tests can be ordered online. All that's needed is an internet connection, an email address and photo identification. State officials acknowledged the lack of broadband access around New Mexico and said the new at-home option expands what they described as one of the most wide-reaching testing programs in the nation. The state Health Department has been operating in-person testing locations in every county since early in the pandemic, including in spots that have connectivity issues. The state is now averaging more than 14,000 tests a day and that's expected to grow with the new program. In...
    LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — As the rollout continues, the effort is on to build confidence in COVID-19 vaccines. It comes amid some reluctance by some of those first offered the shots, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported Tuesday. Dr. Anthony Fauci led by example when he received the Moderna vaccine. “I feel extreme confidence in the safety and the efficacy of this vaccine,” Fauci said. But not everyone shares that confidence. “I prefer not to get it, that’s all,” one person said. “We gotta get it. Our kids gotta get it to continue to go to school,” another person said. “We are gonna wait a little bit, to see how everything goes,” another added. CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC Ask CBS2’s Dr. Max Your Vaccine Questions COVID Vaccine FAQ From CDC Find A New York City Testing Site Near You Check NYC Testing Wait Times Explanation Of N.Y.’s Yellow, Orange, Red Zones (.pdf)...
    NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The new, more contagious strain of COVID is believed to already be in the United States. Health officials in the Tri-State Area are screening for the new variant, hoping to contain it before it spreads. Northwell Health is among the labs across New York State now testing COVID samples for the new mutated strain of the virus found in the U.K., CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas reports. “We’ve been evaluating our tests to see if they detect this one as well as they detect the other variants. So far, it looks like they do,” Dr. Dwayne Breining, of Northwell Health, said. MORE: Local Politicians Join Call For Temporary Travel Ban From U.K. As New COVID Strain Spreads Like Wildfire There British scientists believe the new coronavirus variant is up to 70% more transmissible. While there have not been any confirmed cases of this new strain in the U.S.,...
    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Gov. Tom Wolf on Tuesday delivered a mixed review of Congress’ newly passed pandemic relief package, as Philadelphia extended its coronavirus restrictions affecting indoor dining, in-person instruction at colleges and other activities. Also Tuesday, the state Department of Health reported 231 new deaths caused by the coronavirus, one of the state's highest daily totals, as hospitalizations continue to rise and testing turnaround times continue to lag well behind the state's goal of 24- to 48-hours as the holidays approach. Wolf, a Democrat, said the $900 billion in federal aid will provide vital support for people, small businesses and efforts to combat the virus. But, he said, it lacked direct aid to state and local governments trying to prop up crucial services, while more aid is needed for a hard-hit service industry — such as restaurants and bars — and in direct payments to individuals and families....
    With the infection of 36 people at a research base in Antarctica, COVID-19 has now truly become a global health crisis. Chilean public officials announced on Monday that 26 members of the Chilean army and 10 maintenance workers had contracted the virus while stationed at General Bernardo O'Higgins Riquelme, a Chilean base on the southernmost continent. Some of the infected were experiencing symptoms prior to their positive diagnoses. All 36 were evacuated to Punta Arenas in Chile and are currently in stable condition, according to Newsweek, citing Spanish-language reports. New personnel who have quarantined and tested negative replaced the infected crew members. “Thanks to the timely preventive action … it was possible to relieve said personnel, who, after being subjected to a medical control and the administration of a PCR test ... turned out to be positive for COVID-19,” the Chilean army said in a statement. The coronavirus has now...
    ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — Gov. Tim Walz and Department of Health officials are planning to provide an update Tuesday on how COVID-19 vaccinations are being distributed in Minnesota. HOW TO WATCH: Walz and health officials will be speaking at 2 p.m. It will stream live on CBSN Minnesota and on this page. Minnesota began giving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to healthcare workers last week after it received emergency approval earlier this month. The state’s initial shipment last week contained 46,800 doses, and state health officials said earlier that they expect to receive more than 33,000 this week. Also Monday, CVS Health announced that it will begin vaccinating more than 63,000 long-term care residents and workers across Minnesota next week. Health officials reported 1,998 new infections and 22 deaths on Monday, the lowest number of single-day cases reported since late October. According to The COVID Tracking Project, the seven-day rolling...
    ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Tim Walz and Department of Health officials are planning to provide an update Tuesday on how COVID-19 vaccinations are being distributed in Minnesota. Minnesota began giving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to healthcare workers last week after it received emergency approval earlier this month. The state’s initial shipment last week contained 46,800 doses, and state health officials said earlier that they expect to receive more than 33,000 this week. Also Monday, CVS Health announced that it will begin vaccinating more than 63,000 long-term care residents and workers across Minnesota next week. Health officials reported 1,998 new infections and 22 deaths on Monday, the lowest number of single-day cases reported since late October. According to The COVID Tracking Project, the seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Minnesota continued to decrease over the past two weeks, Hospitalizations across the state have trended downward as well. But...
    MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Despite a CDC warning urging people to avoid travel, Miami International Airport is seeing another busy time during the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to that, there’s the threat of a new strain of COVID-19 that’s 70% more transmissible. However, scientists don’t believe it’s any deadlier than other strains. “Whether it’s a strong strain of the virus or a weaker strain, like we’ve seen already, whether there are high cases or low cases, we still encourage passengers to follow the same precautions we’ve been following all along,” MIA pokesperson Greg Chin said. The epicenter for the newest strain is England. Several countries like Canada, Italy and Germany have closed its borders to travelers from the United Kingdom. The feds are the ones to make that decision in the U.S. “That will be the responsibility of the Federal government. Currently there is a restriction that only allows US citizens...
    Los Angeles County officials have lifted a ban on indoor religious services after a series of court rulings involving houses of worship that argued that the pandemic-related restrictions violate religious freedoms. While county churches are again permitted to hold indoor services under the new policy, announced Saturday, they must still comply with other restrictions, such as social distancing and mask wearing. The loosened public health guidelines come amid surging coronavirus infection rates and hospitalizations and as some churches continue to defy public health orders. County officials, who had issued the order blocking indoor services early in the pandemic, continue to urge houses of worship not to meet indoors because it will increase congregants’ chances of contracting the coronavirus. The vast majority of churches have complied, but some have not. “Los Angeles County is experiencing an unprecedented surge of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and premature deaths,” county officials said in a statement....
    LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles County's hospital space continued to dwindle Monday as the latest COVID-19 surge has positioned the county to risk becoming the worldwide epicenter of the pandemic, and leaving health officials concerned holiday gatherings could cause further strains on the hospital system.L.A. County Public Health Department Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said the latest spike is creating a health care crisis and overwhelming hospital ICUs, adding that the current surge is tied to too many Southern Californians traveling and attending holiday gatherings.Officials are once again warning people not to travel and gather during the upcoming holidays."Every single time you're with others that aren't in your household, it's much more likely now than at anytime before that someone near you is infected," Ferrer said Monday during a briefing. "The only path forward for us that has any chance at stopping the surge is for all of us to...
    MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — State health officials are defending their decision to restrict indoor dining in Minnesota. Last week, Gov. Tim Walz extended the pause at restaurants and bars through at least Jan. 10. Eating outdoors is allowed in open areas at half capacity. Grocery stores and malls are especially busy this time of year. WCCO gets questions from viewers asking why can they be open, but restaurants can’t be for indoor dining? Jean Hunn, owner of Keys Cafe & Bakery, says she understood the restaurant closures in the beginning of the pandemic, when experts were still trying to understand the new virus. But says now it feels unfair. She thinks the contract tracing data would be skewed when restaurants keep names and numbers of guests coming in, whereas big box stores do not. “So when the only places … where you’re following people is restaurant industries, it makes perfect...
    LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — With additional COVID-19 vaccine shipments on their way to California, health officials in the United Kingdom have identified a new strain of the virus — one that they say could be up to 70% more transmittable. “We are calling it a variant, and we are raising some concern,” Dr. Neha Nahnda, an infectious disease physician at Keck Medicine of USC, said. “We are not alarming people.” On Sunday, parts of the U.K. entered into a new lockdown as dozens of other countries banned or restricted travel from the country due to the discovery. “So, mutations, which are basically a change in the coding of the virus,” Nahnda said. “Some of the mutations have clinical implications, some do not.” And while European health officials said that the strain was more transmissible, Nahnda said that assertion was based on a model that has yet to be clinically proven....
    By PAUL J. WEBER, Associated Press AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Republican Gov. Greg Abbott is getting the COVID-19 vaccine as the number of patients hospitalized with the virus in Texas has again climbed past the troubling mark of 10,000 for the first time since this summer's deadly peak. Abbott's aides say he will receive the shot on live television Tuesday at Austin hospital to help reassure the public that inoculations are safe. The announcement comes on the same day that President-elect Joe Biden took a dose of Pfizer vaccine at a hospital not far from his Delaware home, which was also broadcast on live television. “Increasingly, Texas residents and even some medical personnel have expressed apprehension about taking the vaccine, and the Governor will receive it on live TV to instill confidence in it," Abbott spokeswoman Renae Eze said. “The Governor would not ask any Texan to do something he...
    By KEN RITTER, Associated Press LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada is open for visitors with precautions in place, tourism and coronavirus response leaders declared Monday, despite a weekend where the state passed the 200,000 mark in known COVID-19 infections and tallied 73 new deaths. In Las Vegas, where New Year’s fireworks that typically draw 300,000 people to the resort-lined Strip have been canceled, casinos are “open within the limits of the capacity determined by the governor,” Nevada tourism promotions chief Brenda Scolari said in a media call with state COVID-19 response leaders. Gov. Steve Sisolak in November tightened occupancy limits for restaurants, bars, casino floors and gyms, and set capacity at 25% for many businesses in a bid to stop a surge of coronavirus cases that are driving up hospitalizations. “We are very much promoting that properties in Las Vegas are acting with safety of visitors in mind and have...
    By JOHN HANNA, Associated Press TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas will need far more doses of coronavirus vaccines than it's set to receive in the coming days to start giving shots to all residents 75 or older, officials at a major health care system said Monday, as the state reported its worst seven-day spike in COVID-19 deaths of the pandemic. State officials expect Kansas' 49,000 doses of a vaccine made by Moderna set to arrive this week to go to local health departments and community health care centers, so that they can vaccine health care workers, said Ashley Jones-Wisner, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The state's first vaccine shipments last week, 23,750 doses made by Pfizer, went to hospitals for at-risk health care workers. The state's vaccine distribution plan calls for vaccines first to go to health care workers, workers in nursing homes and nursing...
    The countrys leading infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci and several other top health officials will receive the coronavirus vaccine Tuesday, Politico reports. Three people familiar with the planning told the outlet, Fauci, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, and frontline healthcare workers are scheduled to receive doses of Modernas vaccine at an event at NIH on Tuesday morning. As of Friday, NIH had not received any vaccines. The agency played a big part in developing the Moderna vaccine, which received approval for emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration Friday night. Researchers worked with the drugmaker to develop and test the vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention received a federal allocation of Pfizers vaccine last week, according to Politico. Two people said NIH had not been formally allocated its own shipments. The sources said the shots used...
    AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Governor Greg Abbott will receive the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 22, the Governor’s Office announced Monday. Elected leaders have been video-recorded and photographed while receiving the vaccine in recent days, in an effort to show the public it is safe and an important thing to do, once the vaccine becomes widely available to the general public. Texas had more than 9,800 hospitalized coronavirus patients as of Sunday, the most since a deadly summer outbreak. The state is approaching the Christmas holiday with fewer than 800 intensive care unit beds and last Thursday smashed a single-day record for new cases with with more than 16,000, which state officials partly attributed to holiday gatherings. Spread of the virus is also getting worse around the Capitol. On Monday, public health officials in Austin said that new cases were up 86% since the beginning of December. Officials recommended that...
    By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar | Associated Press WASHINGTON — Trump administration political appointees tried to block or change more than a dozen government reports that detailed scientific findings about the spread of the coronavirus, a House panel investigating the alleged interference said Monday. Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., said his coronavirus subcommittee investigators have found evidence of a “political pressure campaign” to “bully” professionals at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in what may have been an attempt to “cripple the nation’s coronavirus response in a misguided effort to achieve herd immunity.” Herd immunity is shorthand for a theory — rejected by most public health experts — that society can be best protected by allowing younger people to get infected and develop natural immunity until vaccines are widely available. Accusing Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield of stonewalling his investigation, Clyburn issued subpoenas...
    WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation reported 157 new cases of the coronavirus as of Sunday, the lowest daily count this month. Still, tribal officials are urging residents of the vast reservation to stay vigilant to help stop the spread of the coronavirus amid the holiday season when families usually gather to celebrate. “We saw a spike in new COVID-19 cases following Thanksgiving, so we want to avoid that happening again,” said Navajo President Jonathan Nez. He encouraged everyone to spend Christmas with only the people in their household. A stay-at-home order is in effect until Dec. 28, along with a weekend lockdown where business hours are limited. The tribe also requires masks to be worn in public. The latest figures bring the total number of cases on the reservation that extends into Arizona, New Mexico and Utah to 21,019. The tribe reported one additional death Sunday, bringing...
    World Health Organization (WHO) Chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan on January 12, 2020 in Geneva.FABRICE COFFRINI | AFP via Getty Images World Health Organization officials said Monday that the coronavirus is mutating "at a much slower rate" than seasonal influenza, even as officials in the U.K. announced this weekend that a new mutation of the virus is allowing it to spread more easily. Seasonal influenza mutates so often that scientists have to regularly develop new vaccines to inoculate the population against the virus every year. U.K. officials have told the WHO that the Covid-19 vaccines appear to be just as effective against the new strain, but more research is needed. While all viruses naturally mutate, not every mutation makes a virus more contagious or more virulent. "SARS-CoV-2 is mutating at a much slower rate than influenza," Soumya Swaminathan, WHO's chief scientist, said at a press briefing. "And so far, even though...
    Despite public health pleas not to travel for the holidays due to an alarming surge in COVID-19 cases, a growing number of Americans are heading to the airport, including at Los Angeles International Airport.The airport says so far this month, passenger traffic is just 26% of what it was the same time last year -- but the Transportation Security Administration says the numbers across the nation are increasing dramatically."I'm traveling to see my children and my granddaughter and spent two days at Disney World, then I'll zip back and get back to work," said San Diego resident Suzi Lieber at LAX.RELATED: Christmas travel: TSA screens 1 million over 2 consecutive days for 1st time since COVID-19 pandemic hitEMBED More News Videos Mayor Eric Garcetti said hospital officials are telling him and his staff that if Los Angeles continues on its upward trend of COVID-19 hospitalizations through Christmas, the medical facilities...
    By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Trump administration political appointees tried to block or change more than a dozen government reports that detailed scientific findings about the spread of the coronavirus, a House panel investigating the alleged interference said Monday. Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., said his coronavirus committee investigators have found evidence of a “political pressure campaign” to “bully” professionals at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in what may have been an attempt to “cripple the nation's coronavirus response in a misguided effort to achieve herd immunity.” Herd immunity is shorthand for a theory — rejected by most public health experts — that society can be best protected by allowing younger people to get infected and develop natural immunity until vaccines are widely available. Accusing Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield of stonewalling his investigation, Clyburn issued subpoenas compelling...
    By Matt Volz HELENA, Mont. — Incoming Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signaled he won't continue a statewide mask mandate in place since July, though he said he plans to wear a mask himself and get vaccinated against COVID-19.[ SEE: The Latest News on the Coronavirus Outbreak ]If Gianforte, a Republican, reverses outgoing Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock's mask order, Montana will be just the second state after Mississippi to lift its mandate. Thirty-eight states now have statewide mandates. "I trust Montanans with their health and the health of their loved ones," Gianforte said in a recent interview with KHN. "The state has a role in clearly communicating the risks of who is most vulnerable, what the potential consequences are, but then I do trust Montanans to make the right decisions for themselves and their family."World Braces For Another Wave of CoronavirusView All 19 ImagesThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says masks help...
    LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Despite recommendations to avoid nonessential travel, LAX still had quite a few weekend travelers on Sunday ahead of the Christmas holiday. Most travelers told CBS2 that they are aware of the experts’ cautions, and especially against mixing households this holiday season. People say they plan on social distancing, wearing masks, and doing what they can to stay safe while traveling out of the state. “Until someone tells me I can’t be on this airplane right now, then it is what it is and I’ll just drive up there,” Kent Bishop said. Other Angelenos are opting to stay home instead and heed the warnings from health officials urging Americans to stay put to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Los Angeles County on Sunday reported 13,315 new cases of COVID-19 and 58 additional deaths, according to public health officials. Leading infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci...
    By Caleb Jones | Associated Press HONOLULU — On Hawaii’s rural island of Kauai, where sprawling white sand beaches and dramatic seaside mountains attract visitors from around the world, local residents spent the first seven months of the pandemic sheltered from the viral storm. Early and aggressive local measures coupled with a strictly enforced statewide travel quarantine kept Kauai’s 72,000 residents mostly healthy — the island had only 61 known coronavirus cases from March through September. But on Oct. 15, the state launched a pre-travel testing program to reignite Hawaii’s decimated tourism economy. Kauai went from having no infections to at least 84 new cases in seven weeks. The surge seeded community transmission and led to the island’s first — and so far only — COVID-19 death: Ron Clark, who worked for decades as a tour driver. Despite Hawaii’s cautious effort at reopening that allowed travelers who tested negative for...
    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Another 6,558 Indiana residents have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Confirmed deaths due to the virus increased by 53 over the previous day, the Indiana Department of Health said Sunday in a daily update. Another 334 probable deaths have been reported based on clinical diagnoses in patients for whom no positive test is on record. More than 464,300 people in the state have tested positive for the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic. Health officials said Sunday that 7,070 Indiana residents are confirmed to have died due to the virus. Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Tags: Indiana, Associated Press
    Alameda County recorded the most new coronavirus cases ever the same day that San Francisco health officials across the Bay reported they had surpassed 20,000 cases of the deadly virus, a grim milestone for a region beset with a health crisis unlike any other. Vaccines for the virus are already being administered to healthcare workers across California, but health officials are continuing to battle a third deadly surge in the virus that has been far more difficult to deal with than the previous two. In the Bay Area so far, 216,530 people have contracted the disease — 4,188 of whom were reported infected Saturday — and 2,267 people have died, including 18 who were reported dead over the weekend. As records continue to be broken across the state and the region, on Saturday Alameda County health officials recorded 1,767 new cases of the virus, the most ever since the start...
    MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As the vaccine roll out continues, so does the campaign to convince people to get the vaccine and to continue taking precautions against the virus. Public health experts says while vaccines bring hope for the end of the pandemic, one of the biggest concerns is the public’s skepticism about the virus and the vaccine. You can see the skepticism, as well as anger, at Minnesota bars that have defied the Gov. Tim Walz’s shutdown orders. It also appears in national studies that show at least 40% of the public and 30% of health care workers are considering not taking the vaccine. Jan Malcolm, Minnesota’s Commissioner of Health, was a guest on WCCO Sunday Morning. “We are shooting for at least seventy to eighty percent of coverage of the population with these vaccines,” she said. “Ultimately, in order to feel like we really snuff it...
    WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Navajo Nation health officials have reported 235 new COVID-19 cases plus three more virus-related deaths. In all, the tribe has reported 20,810 coronavirus cases resulting in 745 deaths since the pandemic hit the vast reservation in March. The new statistics released Saturday night came as the reservation entered the latest in a string of weekend-long lockdowns designed to limit activity that can spread the virus. Health officials said almost 190,000 people on the vast reservation that covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah have been tested and nearly 11,000 have recovered from COVID-199 Navajo Department of Health officials said 62 communities on the reservation reported new cases Friday. Communities of particular concern include Kayenta, Tonalea, Shiprock, Tuba City, Leupp, Rock Springs, St. Michaels, Tachee/Blue Gap, Tsayatoh and Cameron. The Navajo Nation remains in a three-week lockdown that requires all residents to remain home at...
    The Associated Press BANGKOK — Thailand on Sunday reported two new local infections, a day after identifying more than 500 cases south of Bangkok in a country that had largely brought the pandemic under control. The 548 cases on Saturday, most of them linked to the country’s biggest wholesale seafood market, come after Thailand saw only a small number of infections over the past several months due to strict border and quarantine controls. On Sunday, a 78-year-old seafood vendor in Bangkok who had visited the shrimp market in Samut Sakhon province tested positive. The other case was a woman in central Thailand who worked at a beauty parlor in the north. Health officials say most of the cases at the seafood market are migrant workers from Myanmar. The governor imposed a night curfew and other travel restrictions in Samut Sakhon province until Jan. 3. ___ THE VIRUS OUTBREAK: — General...
    BANGKOK — Thailand on Sunday reported two new local infections, a day after identifying more than 500 cases south of Bangkok in a country that had largely brought the pandemic under control. The 548 cases on Saturday, most of them linked to the country’s biggest wholesale seafood market, come after Thailand saw only a small number of infections over the past several months due to strict border and quarantine controls. On Sunday, a 78-year-old seafood vendor in Bangkok who had visited the shrimp market in Samut Sakhon province tested positive. The other case was a woman in central Thailand who worked at a beauty parlor in the north. Health officials say most of the cases at the seafood market are migrant workers from Myanmar. The governor imposed a night curfew and other travel restrictions in Samut Sakhon province until Jan. 3. ___ THE VIRUS OUTBREAK: — General...
    By: KDKA-TV News Staff PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Giant Eagle Pharmacy says it will help to administer the COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes available. According to the company’s website, Giant Eagle is working with local, state and federal health officials on the distribution process. Giant Eagle says it is required to follow the distribution model established by the CDC and health officials. The first shots will be given to healthcare workers, first responders as well as residents and staff at long-term care facilities as part of Phase 1. Phase 2 will involve at-risk people receiving the vaccine, with phase 3 anticipated as being the stage when the vaccine would become readily available. Giant Eagle said that it will provide updates about its involvement in the vaccine distribution efforts as they develop.
    HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Overdose deaths from opioids are on the rise in Connecticut as the coronavirus pandemic has compounded social stressors and increased isolation. State health officials said Friday the state is projected to record more than 1,300 overdose deaths by the end of the year, the Hartford Courant reports. That compares to 1,200 fatal overdoses in 2019. Through October, the state had seen a 13% increase in drug overdose deaths compared to the same period last year. Connecticut has recorded a 300% increase in opioid overdose deaths since 2012, said Dr. James Gill, the state's chief medical examiner. The data reflects a national trend, the Courant reports. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported this week that about 81,000 people fatally overdosed on drugs between June 2019 and May 2020 — the highest number ever recorded in a 12-month period. Fentanyl, a highly dangerous synthetic opioid,...
    WASHINGTON -- The U.S. added a second COVID-19 vaccine to its arsenal Friday, boosting efforts to beat back an outbreak so dire that the nation is regularly recording more than 3,000 deaths a day.Much-needed doses are set to arrive Monday after the Food and Drug Administration authorized an emergency rollout of the vaccine developed by Moderna Inc. and the National Institutes of Health.The move marks the world's first authorization for Moderna's shots. The vaccine is very similar to one from Pfizer Inc. and Germany's BioNTech that's now being dispensed to millions of health care workers and nursing home residents as the biggest vaccination drive in U.S. history starts to ramp up.Find out how many people may get a COVID-19 vaccine before you:Interactive not displaying correctly? Click here to open in a new window.The two work "better than we almost dared to hope," NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins told The Associated...