UK variant found in Georgia; COVID-19 hospitalizations flare in South, West — 6 updates

U.S. hospitalizations hit a record 131,195 Jan. 5, up from 128,210 the day prior, according to data from The COVID Tracking Project.  

COVID-19 hospitalizations in the South and West are now worse than the Midwest's highest hospitalization peak, reports The COVID Tracking Project. Virus hospitalizations in the East are also rising and near the Midwest peak. 

The U.S. is also nearing seven-day average peaks for both COVID-19 cases and deaths. These figures are likely to worsen over the next few days as data from the holiday is entered, according to The COVID Tracking Project

Five more updates:

1. A case of the U.K. coronavirus variant has been reported in Georgia. The state's first case of COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7 was detected in an 18-year-old man with no travel history, reports the Georgia Department of Public Health. This is the fifth known state to report a case of the variant, following New York, California, Florida and Colorado.  

2. China has delayed a team of researchers from entering the country to study the COVID-19 pandemic's origin, the World Health Organization said during a Jan. 5 media briefing. Several members of the scientific team had already begun traveling to China when the WHO learned Chinese officials had "not yet finalized the necessary permissions for the team's arrival," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, said during the briefing.

3. About 5.1 million Americans have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, representing just 1.5 percent of the U.S. population, according to CDC data and a state tally from Bloomberg.

4. The U.S. could soon administer 1 million COVID-19 vaccines daily, Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, told the Associated Press Jan. 5. At present, the nation is giving out about half a million doses each day, according to Dr. Fauci.

5. The nation's first healthcare providers to receive a COVID-19 vaccine are now receiving their second doses, reports The New York Times. Sandra Lindsay, RN, a critical care nurse in New York City, became the first American to get a vaccine Dec. 14 and received her second dose Jan. 4.

Snapshot of COVID-19 in the U.S.

Cases: 21,055,486

Deaths: 357,422

Counts reflect data available as of 8:45 a.m. CST Jan. 6.

More articles on public health:
Number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, state by state
19 states where COVID-19 is spreading fastest, slowest: Jan. 6
States ranked by percentage of COVID-19 vaccines administered


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