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USA TODAY

COVID-19 has killed more than 425,000 Americans, and infections continue to rise despite the introduction of a pair of vaccines in late 2020. USA TODAY is following the news. Keep updating this page for the latest updates. Sign up for our coronavirus newsletter for updates to your mailbox, join our Facebook group or scroll through our in-depth answers to reader questions.

As more students return to school this week, evidence from the United States and other countries suggests that schools can operate safely with precautions and should be opened for personal learning as soon as possible, say researchers from the Centers for Control and Control. disease prevention.

In an article published Tuesday in the JAMA Network, researchers wrote that wearing masks and maintaining social distance have been shown to be effective in curbing coronavirus transmission in schools, but activities such as indoor sports events can encourage the spread and should be reduced.

“The predominance of evidence available from the fall school semester is reassuring,” the three researchers wrote. “There is little evidence that schools have contributed significantly to increased community transmission.”

However, the return of student populations may be at even greater risk than in the fall – not to mention the surrounding communities, where research suggests larger outbreaks in college towns.

In the headlines:

► Eli Lilly announced on Tuesday that his monoclonal antibody cocktail reduced hospitalizations by 70% for high-risk patients with COVID-19.

► Alaska and Kentucky have discovered the first known cases of their coronavirus variant identified last year in the UK, officials said on Tuesday. Diagnoses increase the total number of reporting cases to 25.

► President Joe Biden has announced that he will increase the minimum weekly supply of vaccines for the states over the next three weeks from 8.6 million to 10 million or 16%. Biden is further trying to increase America’s chances of fighting the pandemic with a deal to buy another 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

► The total number of coronavirus cases exceeded 100 million on Tuesday, according to the board of Johns Hopkins University. The United States, with just over 4% of the world’s population, has more than 25% of infections and nearly 20% of deaths.

📈Today’s numbers: According to data from John Hopkins University, the United States has more than 25.4 million confirmed cases of coronavirus and more than 425,000 deaths. The total number is over 100.2 million cases and 2.15 million deaths. About 44.4 million doses of vaccine have been distributed in the United States and 23.5 million have been given, according to the CDC.

📘 What we read: There are many variants of COVID-19 in the United States. Where are they? How dangerous are they? Here’s what we know.

An antibody cocktail can change the game for high-risk patients

Although vaccines could help slow the COVID-19 pandemic in the coming months, pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly announced on Tuesday that its treatments could help save lives in the meantime. The Indianapolis-based drug giant says its monoclonal antibody cocktail reduces hospitalizations by 70 percent for high-risk patients. A monoclonal antibody mimics one of the natural antibodies that the immune system uses to fight the virus. Former President Donald Trump, as well as former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani received monoclonal antibodies shortly after being diagnosed with COVID-19.

Karen Weintraub

High risk: Schools often ignore public health guidelines for classroom instruction

Many school districts and states where classes are held have ignored public health officials’ recommendations or written their own dubious safety rules – creating a box where COVID-19 can get sick and kill. An analysis of federal and state data found more than 780 complaints involving more than 2,000 public and private K-12 schools. Among the complaints: Officials reported sick children coming to school without masks, students and teachers less than 6 feet away, and administrators minimizing the dangers of the virus and punishing teachers who spoke.

“The response to the virus is politicized,” said Dr. Chandy John, an expert on childhood infectious diseases at Indiana Medical School. “We are ready to ignore data and facts and use everything we hear from the internet or from political leaders who have no scientific knowledge.”

Laura Ungar, Kaiser Health News

January is already the deadliest month for a pandemic in the United States

The 4,887 deaths from COVID-19 reported on Tuesday – the fourth highest day in the history of the pandemic – have already made January the deadliest month of the pandemic, according to a US analysis of data from John Hopkins University today. In the first 26 days of January, the United States reported 79,261 deaths. The total number of deaths in December, which was the deadliest month, was 77,486 deaths in December. At this rate, January could end with about 94,500 deaths.

Some countries are devastated. The previous worst month in California was 6,772 deaths in December, but the state has already reported 12,282 deaths in January. January is already the deadliest month for 15 more states: Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

“Mike Pike.”

The Oklahoma Department of Health is suing a company that promised N95 masks

In March, the Oklahoma Department of Health ordered more than 2 million N95 masks from the owner of the Tulsa piano bar, who promised to receive the coveted PPE from China in large quantities and quickly.

They ordered the masks from Casey Bradford’s brand new company, PPE Supplies LLC. In the second order, he was even paid half in advance – $ 2.125 million – after he promised delivery in 10 days.

On Tuesday, the Oklahoma Department of Health sued Bradford and PPE Supplies LLC in Oklahoma County Court. Health officials received less than 10,000 masks from PPE supplies and only $ 300,000 from the deposit, according to a breach of the lawsuit. The health ministry is looking for the rest of its money – $ 1.825 million, plus interest. He also seeks criminal damages for “misconduct.”

“Bradford has intentionally and intentionally provided the plaintiff with facts that led the plaintiff to place purchase orders and make a deposit,” the statement of claim states.

“Nolan Clay, Oklahoma.”

Double masking “just makes sense,” says Dr. Anthony Fauci

The double camouflage was in the spotlight last week during the inauguration of President Joe Biden, where several high-ranking officials and celebrities were photographed in two masks.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the country’s best infectious disease expert, said it was probably more effective to prevent the spread: “So if you have a physical coating with one coat, you put another coat, it’s just logical that “You’d probably be more efficient,” Fautsi told NBC News’ TODAY on Monday. ” This is why you see people either double-masking or making a version of the N95. “

Also a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Matter in July found that wearing two masks can increase protection against viral particles by 50% to 75%. This not only added an extra protective layer, but also made the mask snug around the face, said study author Dr. Loretta Fernandez.

Americans’ renewed interest in double masking also comes when options that appear more contagious emerge from Britain, South Africa, Brazil and California.

– Adriana Rodriguez, USA TODAY.

Contribution: Associated Press

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