Vaccinate healthcare workers first, CDC panel says; US hospitalizations near 100K — 5 COVID-19 updates

More than 98,600 U.S. COVID-19 patients were hospitalized Dec. 1, a record high, according to The COVID Tracking Project.  

In the past week, the nation has reported an average of 161,228 new infections per day, reports The New York Times


Four more updates:

1. A CDC advisory panel has suggested high-risk healthcare workers, along with nursing home residents and staff, be the first to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, reports The New York Times. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices passed the recommendation Dec. 1 on a 13-1 vote. CDC Director Robert Redfield, MD, is expected to decide Dec. 2 whether to accept the recommendation as the agency's formal guidance to states.

2. The U.K. approved Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine Dec. 1, the first Western country to do so, reports The New York Times. The emergency authorization is the first done for a fully tested vaccine, though Russia and China approved vaccines before results of large-scale efficacy tests were available.

3. A bipartisan group of senators introduced a COVID-19 relief proposal Dec. 1 worth about $908 billion, according to The Washington Post. The relief bill includes $51 billion in new healthcare and vaccine-related funds, $160 billion in state and local government funding, $240 billion in new Paycheck Protection Program assistance, and $300 a week in federal unemployment benefits for about four months.

4. California could run out of intensive care unit beds by Christmas Eve due to the COVID-19 surge, Gov. Gavin Newsom said during a Nov. 30 media briefing. If current trends continue, the state may need to take "drastic action" to control the virus, including potentially reinstating a stay-at-home order, Mr. Newsom said.

Snapshot of COVID-19 in the U.S.

Cases: 13,728,154
Deaths: 270,691
Recovered: 5,226,581

Counts reflect data available as of 8:25 a.m. CST Dec. 2.

More articles on public health:
25 states where COVID-19 is spreading fastest, slowest: Dec. 2
'Pandemic' is 2020 word of the year
Vaccine will be widely available by June, Warp Speed leader says; White House COVID-19 adviser resigns — 5 updates


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