As the total number of people hospitalized with coronavirus infection in the United States continues to break records following the holidays, the new variant of the deadly virus was reported in a fourth U.S. state.
“The Wadsworth lab confirmed a case of the UK strain in Saratoga County, New York. It’s a gentleman who is in his 60s. He was symptomatic, but he is on the mend and he’s doing better,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday. “He did not travel recently, so this suggests that it’s in the community, it was community spread as opposed to having traveled to the UK,” Coumo told reporters.
As the strain was traced back to an individual affiliated with N. Fox Jewelry store located on 404 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, the Governor urged all those who visited the store between December 18 and 24 to receive a COVID-19 test immediately.
The new variant of coronavirus, which is said to spread faster than the original one, has already been identified in three other U.S states – California, Colorado and Florida.
As per the latest update published by COVID Tracking Project on Tuesday, a total of 128,210 patients are currently admitted in U.S. hospitals with the deadly disease. Out of this, 23,435 patients are admitted in Intensive Care Units.
With 2041 additional fatalities reporting in the last 24 hours, the total U.S. death toll from the deadly disease rose to 353621, as per latest data from the Johns Hopkins University.
During the same period, 1,84,124 new cases were reported across the country, taking the total number of patients infected with the disease to 20823343.
Despite testing data dropping, the 7-day average for COVID-19 cases is higher than pre-holiday figures and increasing in many states across the U.S.
The 7-day average for COVID-19 deaths is also increasing in 30 states. “We expect the daily death numbers to increase significantly once the reporting trends stabilize post-holidays, in part due to backlogs,” COVID Tracking Project said on Twitter.
Over the past week, an average of 2,637 people died of coronavirus infection every day, which means one Covid-19 death occurs in the U.S. in every 33 seconds, according to Johns Hopkins.
The national average Covid test positivity rate is 13.51 percent.
About 15.4 million COVID vaccine doses have been distributed in the country so far, but only 4.56 million people have received their first doses, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As per COVID Tracking Project’s latest update Tuesday, 4.66 million doses have been administered so far. This is up by 330,000 doses from yesterday. Only 1.42 percent of U.S. population is covered yet, according to the U.S. collaborative volunteer-run effort to track the pandemic.
The governors of New York and Florida have urged hospital authorities to administer coronavirus vaccines more quickly.
After the UK reported a record 58,784 coronavirus cases on Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced another national lockdown for England. He warned that the coming weeks will be the “hardest yet.”
All schools in the country have been ordered to switch to online learning. The summer examinations will be canceled.
A meeting of four chief medical officers on Monday recommended that the country should move to the highest level of alert – threat level five.
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