COVID-19 hospitalizations fall, but deaths rise; US boosts states' vaccine supplies — 6 updates

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are declining in the U.S., but the nation's seven-day average for deaths increased Jan. 26, according to data from The COVID Tracking Project.

The jump in deaths is due to reporting lags linked to Martin Luther King Jr. Day last week, the Tracking Project said. The group said it expects deaths to stay elevated for some time.

Five more updates:

1. Global COVID-19 cases surpassed the 100 million mark Jan. 26, according to data from Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University. 

2. The federal government will start giving states three-week forecasts on their estimated vaccine allotments, President Joe Biden said during a Jan. 26 speech at the White House. The U.S. will also boost states' vaccine supplies by 16 percent and aim to have enough doses to vaccine 300 million Americans by the end of the summer or early fall. 

3. COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy is falling among Americans, according to a survey of 1,563 U.S. adults Kaiser Family Foundation conducted from Jan. 11-18. Forty-seven percent of respondents said they'd receive a vaccine as soon as possible or were already vaccinated, compared to 34 percent who said the same in December 2020. 

4. A House subcommittee has opened an investigation into a $70 million government ventilator purchase, reports The Washington Post. The House subcommittee on economic and consumer policy is investigating a government deal to buy 11,200 AutoMedx SAVe II+ ventilators from Combat Medical Systems this past spring. The ventilators were inadequate for treating COVID-19 patients and remain in warehouses, said Stephanie Bialek, a spokesperson for the Strategic National Stockpile, according to the Post.

5. Florida hospitals were told Jan. 26 to cut back on vaccinating staff and patients, reports CBS affiliate WKMG-TV. Scott Rivkees, MD, Florida's surgeon general and department of health secretary, urged hospitals to turn to county health departments for vaccinating new employees and patients. Dr. Rivkees said Florida has a limited supply of "first dose" vaccines and told hospitals not to use "second dose" vaccines for initial vaccinations.

Snapshot of COVID-19 in the U.S.

Cases: 25,445,699

Deaths: 425,257

Counts reflect data available as of 8:45 a.m. CST Jan. 27.

More articles on public health:
17 states where COVID-19 is spreading fastest, slowest: Jan. 27
COVID-19 death rates by state: Jan. 26
A look at 4 historical US vaccination campaigns


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