Daily COVID-19 deaths pass 4K; 50+ UK variant cases confirmed in US — 5 updates

The U.S. hit a record COVID-19 death count Jan. 7, with 4,033 deaths reported, according to data from The COVID Tracking Project.

COVID-19 death rates will likely continue rising through January, Anthony Fauci, MD, told NPR Jan. 7. As the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has previously predicted, the worsening trends likely reflect holiday season travel and gatherings.

"Hopefully, if we really accelerate our public health measures during that period of time, we'll be able to blunt that acceleration," Dr. Fauci said, adding that if the nation's vaccine rollout doesn't speed up, some changes will have to be made. 

Four more updates:

1. Pfizer and BioNTech's vaccine appears to neutralize a mutation found in the U.K. and South Africa variants of the coronavirus, according to research published Jan. 7 on preprint server bioRxivThe findings suggest the vaccine neutralizes the N501Y mutation found in more infectious variants. The study has not yet been peer-reviewed.  

2. At least 52 cases of a COVID-19 virus variant first found in the U.K. have been identified in the U.S., the CDC said Jan. 6. This number doesn't account for the actual number of cases circulating the nation, the CDC warned, adding that its numbers are set to update on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

3. Nearly 60 percent of the nation's COVID-19 spread may come from asymptomatic cases, according to a CDC model published Jan. 7 in JAMA Network Open. For more on the model, click here.

4. The U.S. will allocate $550 million to community-based testing programs nationwide, HHS said Jan. 7. The funds are part of a larger effort to ramp up the country's non-laboratory testing capacity, which HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Adm. Brett Giroir, MD, said could double by June, according to The New York Times.

Snapshot of COVID-19 in the U.S.

Cases: 21,589,666

Deaths: 365,448

Counts reflect data available as of 9:00 a.m. CST Jan. 8.

More articles on public health:
19 states where COVID-19 is spreading fastest, slowest: Jan. 8
DC hospitals treat victims of Capitol riot: 5 things to know 
States ranked by percentage of COVID-19 vaccines administered


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