New variant found in Germany; vaccination rates lag among Black Americans — 7 COVID-19 updates

Gabrielle Masson and Mackenzie Bean - Print  | 

More than 24 million people worldwide have contracted COVID-19 and nearly 400,000 have died as of Jan. 19, according to data from Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University.

Six more updates:

1. Governments and public health organizations worldwide failed in their early pandemic response, according to a Jan. 19 interim report from the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response. The World Health Organization panel is still conducting its investigation, but called the pandemic alert system "slow, cumbersome and indecisive." The panel also faulted leaders for responding slowly to early evidence of asymptomatic spread. 

2. Black Americans are getting COVID-19 vaccines at a lower rate than white Americans, reports Kaiser Health News. In all 16 states providing vaccination data by race, white residents are being vaccinated at significantly higher rates than Black residents, according to Jan. 14 American Community Survey data. Most notably, 1.2 percent of white Pennsylvanians had been vaccinated, compared to 0.3 percent of Black Pennsylvanians. KHN notes that most of the vaccines have gone to healthcare workers and front-line staffers — a typically racially diverse workforce.

3. President-elect Joe Biden plans to keep COVID-19 travel restrictions in place by reversing a last-minute order from the current administration to lift them Jan. 26, incoming Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a Jan. 18 tweet.

4. Germany identified a new coronavirus mutation in 35 patients at a hospital in Bavaria, reports CNBC. The variant is different from the ones found in the U.K. and South Africa, officials said. 

5. A 10 percent increase in mask-wearing more than triples a community's odds of slowing COVID-19's spread, according to a study published Jan. 19 in The Lancet Digital Health. 

6. Los Angeles County became the first county to hit 1 million COVID-19 cases Jan. 16, reports NBC News. As of Jan. 17, LA County has confirmed 1,024,190 cases. 

Snapshot of COVID-19 in the U.S.

Cases: 24,081,790

Deaths: 399,015

Counts reflect data available as of 9:15 a.m. CST Jan. 19.

More articles on public health:
Arizona's COVID-19 battle could soon push hospitals into 'crisis zone'
22 states where COVID-19 is spreading fastest, slowest: Jan. 19
States ranked by percentage of COVID-19 vaccines administered

 

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