COVID-19 deaths spike in South, West; CDC requires negative test for air travelers entering US — 5 updates

The nation's seven-day death average hit a record-high Jan. 12 at 3,299 deaths, with the sharpest spikes occurring in the South and West, according to data from The COVID Tracking Project.

Overall, states have reported more deaths in the first 12 days of January than in any month between June and October 2020, the Tracking Project said

As of Jan. 12, the nation's seven-day average hospitalization rate was 131,114, representing yet another record, according to Tracking Project data. 

Four more updates:

1. The CDC is requiring all air passengers to test negative for COVID-19 before entering the U.S., the agency said Jan. 12. Under the new guideline, air passengers must get tested within three days of their flight and provide documentation of a negative test or their past recovery from the virus to the airline.

2. The U.S. government purchased 1.25 million doses of Regeneron's antibody treatment Jan. 12. Doses are being supplied for high-risk, non-hospitalized patients with mild to moderate COVID-19. The government said it will provide the doses at no cost, though healthcare facilities may charge patients for administration fees. The purchase means the U.S. will have more than 1.5 million doses of the treatment.

3. Once most adults are immune to COVID-19, the virus will be no more serious than the common cold, according to an analysis published Jan. 12 in Science. Researchers analyzed data on endemic human coronaviruses and found infection-blocking immunity drops rapidly, but disease-reducing immunity is long-lived. In short, COVID-19 is here to stay, but once most adults are immune via infection or vaccination, the virus will not pose such a serious threat.

4. Arkansas will stray from new federal guidelines that expand vaccine eligibility to anyone 65 and up. The Arkansas Department of Health said it would start vaccinating residents age 70 or older and those who work in education starting Jan. 18, according to a Jan. 13 tweet.

Snapshot of COVID-19 in the U.S.

Cases: 22,850,786

Deaths: 380,825

Counts reflect data available as of 8:55 a.m. CST Jan. 13.

More articles on public health:
Kentucky scheduling tool accidentally allowed general public to sign up for COVID-19 vaccine
22 states where COVID-19 is spreading fastest, slowest: Jan. 13
States ranked by percentage of COVID-19 vaccines administered


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