Numbers for California, New York; Coronavirus variants; marine

COVID-19 deaths in the US have slowly declined from their peak a few weeks ago. The average fell below 100,000 on Friday for the first time since November 4 and stayed below that number on Saturday.

That’s still more than one new case per second, but it’s less than half the rate the country reported in January.

However, the number of known cases of coronavirus variants is increasing sharply. The vast majority is variant B.1.1.7, which was first discovered in Great Britain and is widespread there. The CDC has announced that it could become the dominant strain in the US by March.

Scientific advisors to the UK government said Friday that the variant could be up to 70% more deadly than previous variants, underscoring concerns about how mutations could alter the characteristics of the disease.

On Sunday, the US reported 1,193 cases of coronavirus variants that can spread more easily, evade some treatments and immunities, or both. It is nearly 200 cases more than reported Thursday evening, and the number has nearly doubled since February 4.

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In the headlines:

► In a pre-published study published on Sunday, a team of researchers from the United States reported seven variants of COVID-19 in different states.

►California reported the lowest number of hospitalizations since December 1 on Sunday, according to the California Department of Health. However, the state’s death toll remains high.

►Both New York’s daily and seven-day average case rates stayed below 4% on Sunday for the second day in a row, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office.

► Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi has extended coronavirus restrictions until mid-March in Hawaii’s most populous city, but said that could change if confirmed cases stay low.

►Newland’s largest city was closed for at least three days on Sunday and police set up checkpoints in eight locations on the Auckland border. The crackdown comes after three family members test positive. Fewer than 50 cases are currently known across the nation of approximately 5 million people.

???? Today’s numbers: The United States has more than 27.6 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 485,300 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The global total: more than 108.7 million cases and 2.39 million deaths. According to the CDC, more than 70 million vaccine doses have been distributed and about 52.8 million administered.

???? What we read: The life cycle of a COVID-19 vaccine from DNA to dosage is a complicated, month-long process. This is how Pfizer does it.

Variant cases are increasing in the US, including new reports in Maine, Illinois, Texas

COVID-19 variants continue to infiltrate the US: Variant B.1.1.7, first introduced in the UK, was first reported in Maine, New Hampshire and Washington, DC, while variant B.1.351 was first seen in the UK, South Africa has now been in Illinois, Texas, and DC reported

The variant B.1.1.7 spreads quickly. Michigan had reported 29 cases as of February 4; Another 32 cases were reported on Sunday evening, more than doubling the burden. Florida also reported 32 new cases, making a total of 379, or about a third of the country’s cases. California reported 27 new cases, bringing the number to 186. Colorado added 26 cases to hit 67; Massachusetts added 19 cases to nearly triple the reported number to 29. Texas added 14 cases to reach 49.

There are now 1,173 known cases of B.1.1.7 which the Centers for Disease Control claimed could become the predominant burden in the country in March. Variants spread rapidly even if all coronavirus case numbers are reported half as fast as last month.

– Mike Stucka

New Orleans gets tough with Mardi Gras celebrations

New Orleans is putting its annual Mardi Gras celebrations down this week, and health officials in other cities are warning potential revelers to do the same amid an increase in cases of coronavirus variants across the country.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell ordered that the bars be closed during Mardi Gras weekend, which started on Friday and runs through Tuesday. Parades are canceled and there are limits to gatherings.

Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday is the annual pre-Lent celebrated on much of the Gulf Coast. The celebrations over the past year are believed to have contributed to an early surge that has made Louisiana a coronavirus hot spot.

The Navy reports fourth death from COVID-19

The U.S. Navy reported the fourth death of an active sailor from COVID-19 complications on Friday.

Aviation Support Equipment Technician 1st Class Marcglenn L. Orcullo, 42, had been assigned to a warship prior to his hospitalization on Jan. 17.

“We express our condolences and, together with the sailor’s family, friends and shipmates, mourn the loss of this seaman. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time, ”the Navy said in a statement.

Contributor: The Associated Press

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