COVID Live Updates: US adds record death count for 2nd consecutive day

COVID Live Updates: US adds record death count for 2nd consecutive day

NEW YORK (WABC) — The United States reported another single-day record high in COVID deaths for the second consecutive day.

3,744 deaths were reported Wednesday, surpassing the previous 3,725 deaths reported Tuesday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

As the year 2020 soon comes to an end, Wednesday’s total puts the December death toll well above 70,000 – by far the deadliest month of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, an investigation is now underway after COVID-19 vaccines were intentionally removed from refrigeration in Wisconsin.

The FBI and FDA are looking into the person who left 57 vials of the Moderna vaccine out of a hospital fridge.

After an internal investigation, it was first believed to be human error, but the worker in question has admitted they intentionally removed the vaccine.

More than 500 doses had to be thrown out. The worker has since been fired.

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Here are more of today’s headlines:

Day of Remembrance
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a Day of Remembrance to honor those lost to COVID in New York City. He declared Sunday, March 14, 2021 as the official date.

Trump’s $2,000 stimulus checks all but dead, McConnell says Congress has provided enough pandemic aid
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell all but shut the door on President Donald Trump’s push for $2,000 COVID-19 relief checks, declaring Congress has provided enough pandemic aid as he blocked another attempt by Democrats to force a vote.

NY suspends visitation at state prisons amid outbreaks
New York suspended visits to state prisons starting Wednesday because of a rise in coronavirus cases among inmates and staff and in surrounding communities.

The state Department of Corrections, which first suspended most in-person visits in mid-March, reopened prisons to visitors in August. New York then restricted visits at prisons in designated hot spots starting in October, but most prisons have remained open for visits.

Prior to Sept. 24, the prison system had seen 774 total confirmed cases. Since then, New York prisons have recorded three times as many new virus cases: more than 2,170, including more than 1,000 in December alone. State prisons have reported the death of three inmates with COVID-19 since mid-December, according to data reported by the state Department of Corrections.

New COVID variant confirmed in California
The new, more contagious variant of COVID-19 that was first observed in the United Kingdom has now made its way to Southern California, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday. The variant is described as far more contagious than earlier variants of the coronavirus, but not necessarily more deadly or likely to make an infected person more sick. It has also been confirmed in Colorado. Newsom said he learned the new variant was in California Wednesday morning. He did not specify what part of Southern California or how many patients have been infected.

Nassau and Suffolk counties report high positivity rates
Nassau County is reporting 1,273 residents testing positive for COVID-19 of 12,161 tested, putting the county’s daily positivity rate at 10.5% — the highest since reopening. Nassau’s hospital systems are reporting 664 COVID-19 related hospitalizations with 66 in ICU and 40 ventilated patients. Residents were urged to celebrate the New Year responsibly.

Meanwhile, Suffolk County officials said the numbers are shocking.

“Not only is this the highest number of new cases reported since the onset of the pandemic, but the double-digit positivity rate puts us right back to where we were in early May. On December 1st, we had a positivity rate of approximately 4 percent, today we are at 12.8 percent. In less than a month, the rate has tripled,” County Executive Steve Bellone said. “We are the only ones who can change these numbers. We have seen this virus spread during the holiday season through small gatherings in homes where people are more likely to let their guard down. As we approach New Year’s Eve, I urge Suffolk County residents to limit gatherings and to do what we know works, wear face coverings and socially distance.”

CA hits a daily death record
California reported 432 COVID related deaths in 24 hours, the equivalent of one person dying every three minutes in the state. There are currently 20,612 people hospitalized in the state, which has a 12.2% positivity rate over past 14 days.

Limited number of fans to attend Bills’ playoff game
A few thousand fans will be in attendance for the Buffalo Bills’ playoff game, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday. An agreement between the Health Department, the team and the NFL will allow around 6,700 socially distanced, mask wearing fans to watch the game from the stands. Every fan will be tested before the game Cuomo said it’s the first step in New York’s pilot testing plan to help guide business reopenings.

Dawn Wells, Mary Ann on ‘Gilligan’s Island,’ dies of COVID-19 at 82
Dawn Wells, best known for her role as on the classic sitcom “Gilligan’s Island,” died Wednesday from complications related to COVID-19. She was 82.

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