Fully vaccinated people can skip quarantine, CDC says; South Africa variant found in 4th state — 7 COVID-19 updates

For the first time since Oct. 22, no state is reporting more than 400 COVID-19 hospitalizations per million people, reports The COVID Tracking Project. 

New York currently has the highest COVID-19 hospitalization rate, with 390 hospitalizations per million people, as of Feb. 10.

Six more updates:

1. The number of daily COVID-19 vaccination shots administered in the U.S. has nearly tripled over the past month, reports The New York Times. On average, about 1.56 million doses are currently being given each day, according to data tracked by the NYT.

2. People fully vaccinated against COVID-19 don't have to quarantine after a virus exposure, according to updated CDC guidance. Vaccinated individuals with an COVID-19 exposure aren't required to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated, are within three months following receipt of the last dose in the series and are asymptomatic. Persons who don't meet those criteria should still quarantine after exposure.

3. Tight-fitting masks and doubling up on masks both help prevent air leakage and improve mask performance, the CDC said Feb. 10. After performing lab experiments with dummies, the CDC found that modifying masks to tighten the fit reduced exposure to potentially infectious aerosols by about 95 percent. The report also highlighted the use of solid or elastic mask fitters and a modification where a nylon cover is placed over a mask as additional effective options to improve mask fit.

4. A World Health Organization panel recommended use of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine for all adults 18 and older. The WHO also recommended administering the second dose eight to 12 weeks after the first for optimal efficacy.  

5. Two cases of the South Africa coronavirus variant have been detected in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom said during a Feb. 10 media briefing. California is the fourth state to identify the variant alongside Virginia, Maryland and South Carolina. As of Feb. 9, the CDC has confirmed nine B.1.351 variant cases in the U.S., not including California's cases.

6. Massachusetts will permit companions of people age 75 or older visiting mass vaccination sites to also receive the vaccine effective Feb. 11. The new rule aims to encourage more older adults in the state to get vaccinated, reports The New York Times. 

Snapshot of COVID-19 in U.S.

Cases: 27,288,483

Deaths: 471,765

Americans receiving at least one vaccine dose: 33,783,384

Counts reflect Feb. 10 and Feb. 11 data from Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University and the CDC.


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