Although coronavirus hospitalizations are declining in the United States, virus-related deaths have remained stubbornly high, with 50,000 new deaths in the past two weeks alone. California was the largest contributor to the toll, recording an average of more than 500 deaths per day for the past few weeks.
Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson applied for an emergency permit for its coronavirus vaccine candidate on Thursday. Its vaccine, which is 66% protection against the virus, could be the third vaccine approved in the US
The United States has reported more than 26.7 million coronavirus cases and 456,000 deaths since the pandemic began from NBC News,.
Here are the latest coronavirus updates from the US and other countries:
U.K. requires travelers coming from COVID hotspots to hotel quarantine for 10 days
British officials say anyone entering the country from coronavirus hotspots will have to spend 10 days in hotel quarantine from Feb.15 to prevent new variants of the virus from entering the UK
The government has been criticized for the delay in implementing the policy, which it first announced in late January.
Arrivals from high risk countries must be quarantined at approved hotels that are monitored by security guards and will be billed for their stay. The UK has taken advice from Australia and New Zealand where quarantine hotels have been used to contain COVID-19.
The main opposition Labor Party said Friday it was “incomprehensible” that the policy was introduced so late, 50 days after a new, communicable strain of the virus was identified from South Africa. Working limits spokesman Nick Thomas-Symonds said the government was doing “too little, too late”.
The UK has seen the worst coronavirus outbreak in Europe, with more than 110,000 confirmed deaths.
Army volunteer helps Florida elders book coveted COVID shots
A group of more than 100 volunteers in Florida is helping seniors guide the technology-intensive process of obtaining a COVID-19 vaccine. The volunteers entered after seeing the chaos and confusion that erupted when the state granted immunization rights to residents aged 65 and over.
They now spend hours switching between numerous online registration platforms, checking government vaccines, and repeatedly calling congested hotlines.
Around 3,000 seniors are currently waiting for one of the 120 volunteers to help them. To step up their efforts, the group is also encouraging tech-savvy young people to get involved and help their older relatives navigate online systems.
Yankee Stadium opens as a mega vaccination site
Yankee Stadium in New York City opens as a mega vaccination center on Friday.
The stadium, which houses only Bronx residents, is expected to get around 15,000 vaccinations in its first week. NBC New York reports.
Several other stadiums and arenas, which usually host professional sporting events, have opened as vaccination sites across the country, including Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles. Last month, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy encourages All teams offer their stadiums and other facilities as vaccination sites for the general public
US officials Mull send masks to every American
Biden administration officials are considering sending masks to every American to encourage individuals to do their part to lower coronavirus transmission rates.
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said in an interview with NBC News that administration officials are considering using supplies of masks that the government already has in stock.
Klain said the government hopes to announce a possible move “in the next few days or next week”.