January 5 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Adam Renton, Kara Fox, Ed Upright and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 12:02 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021
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7:10 p.m. ET, January 5, 2021

US surpasses 21 million Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Virginia Langmaid

There have been at least 21,007,694 total cases of coronavirus in the United States and at least 356,540 people have died from Covid-19 since the pandemic began, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins recorded the first case of coronavirus in the United States on Jan. 21, 2020. 

Seventeen other countries have reported more than 1 million total Covid-19 cases, according to Johns Hopkins.

Here's a breakdown of the countries and their total number of coronavirus cases:

  • India has more than 10 million total cases
  • Brazil has over 7 million total cases
  • Russia has more than 3 million total cases
  • France, United Kingdom, Turkey, and Italy have over 2 million total cases
  • Spain, Argentina, Colombia, Germany, Mexico, Poland, Iran, Ukraine, Peru, and South Africa all have over 1 million total cases each
7:12 p.m. ET, January 5, 2021

1 in 15 Georgia residents infected by Covid-19, data shows

From CNN's Deidre McPhillips

About one in 15 Georgia residents has been infected by Covid-19 and more than one in 1,000 has died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. 

The state’s seven-day average of new cases reached a record high on Monday, with an average of 8,546 new cases reported each day.

Only eight other states had higher per capita rates of new cases over the same seven-day period. 

In hospitals across Georgia, 91% of intensive care unit beds are occupied and 85% of all inpatient beds are occupied, according to estimates published Sunday by the Department of Health and Human Services. 

In the Atlanta metro area, new cases rose 33% over the previous week, according to data published by the health department on Tuesday, nearly double the average increase for the 25 largest metro areas in the US.

7:06 p.m. ET, January 5, 2021

Houston hospital system offers bonus of $500 to employees who get Covid-19 vaccine

From CNN’s Lauren Mascarenhas

Houston Methodist Hospital stands at the Texas Medical Center campus in Houston, Texas, on June 24, 2020.
Houston Methodist Hospital stands at the Texas Medical Center campus in Houston, Texas, on June 24, 2020. Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Houston Methodist, a Texas hospital system, is offering a bonus of $500 to employees if they get vaccinated against Covid-19.

In an email written to the Houston Methodist staff last week, President and CEO Marc Boom said that employees are eligible for a “Hope Bonus” of $500 this March to thank them for their work during a challenging 2020.

“Eligibility criteria will include getting a Covid-19 vaccination, fulfilling our obligation as health care workers to lead the community,” Boom wrote.

Boom noted that the Covid-19 vaccine is not mandated for employees right now but will be eventually.

Houston Methodist employees previously received a $500 bonus in November to thank them for their work during the coronavirus pandemic.

7:05 p.m. ET, January 5, 2021

More than 5,000 vaccinations carried out in France on Tuesday

From CNN's Sandrine Amiel in Paris 

A doctor administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine on January 5 at the University Hospital Centre of Lille, France.
A doctor administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine on January 5 at the University Hospital Centre of Lille, France. Denis Charlet/AFP/Getty Images

More than 5,000 Covid-19 vaccinations were carried out on Tuesday "in around thirty” hospitals in France, the country’s Health Minister Olivier Veran tweeted. 

“Tomorrow, doses will have been delivered to about one hundred hospitals,” Veran added, thanking those involved in the country’s mass-vaccination effort.  

Veran said on Monday that the country’s vaccination program would “intensify significantly” over the coming days, adding that the government expects to have “one million shots available by the end of the week.”

“As for nursing homes, the vaccinations are continuing progressively,” he said. 

According to the latest government data, 20,489 new cases were recorded in France on Tuesday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 2,680,239. 

A total of 867 Covid-19-related deaths were registered over the last 24 hours, bringing the national death toll to 66,282. 

6:27 p.m. ET, January 5, 2021

Puerto Rico's governor eliminates total quarantine on Sundays and changes curfew hours

From CNN's Rafy Rivera

Pedro Pierluisi speaks during a press conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on August 2, 2019.
Pedro Pierluisi speaks during a press conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on August 2, 2019. Eric Rojas/AFP/Getty Images

The governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro Pierluisi, announced a decree on Tuesday to eliminate total quarantine on Sundays — a decision ordered by former Gov. Wanda Vázquez in December.

Pierluisi implemented a daily curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. local time, which will begin Jan. 8 and last until Feb. 7.

Commercial establishments must close at 10 p.m., according to the new decree, and a physical distance of three meters (nine feet) between family members is requested.

The new decree states that beaches, marinas and recreational parks are now allowed to be open, but alcohol will not be allowed. Additionally the opening of urban recreational and commercial areas is allowed with a capacity of 30%.

The Condominium Boards and Associations will establish the 30% rule within each complex in relation to the number of residents.

Commercial areas still require physical distancing, and bars and discos will remain closed.

Pierluisi also announced plans to carry out widespread testing across the island, as well as an educational campaign for information and prevention through media and social networks. He ordered an economic assistance program for affected businesses, and emphasized the need to improve communication and distribution regarding the vaccine strategy on the island.

According to the Puerto Rico Department of Health, as of Jan. 4, there were 74,458 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1,562 deaths.

5:42 p.m. ET, January 5, 2021

Grammy Awards postponed due to Covid-19

From CNN's Sandra Gonzalez 

Grammy trophies sit in the press room during the 60th Annual Grammy Awards on January 28, 2018, in New York. 
Grammy trophies sit in the press room during the 60th Annual Grammy Awards on January 28, 2018, in New York.  Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

The Grammy Awards will not be happening later this month as planned.

The awards ceremony, which celebrates the best in music, has been postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to a statement sent to members of the Recording Academy and obtained by CNN. It will now tentatively take place on March 21.

The event had been set to take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Jan. 31, with "The Daily Show" host Trevor Noah acting as host.

Top nominees for the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards include Beyoncé, Dua Lipa, Roddy Ricch and Taylor Swift.

The move comes one day after the union that represents actors and media professionals, SAG-AFTRA, called for a production hold in Covid-plagued Southern California.

"Southern California hospitals are facing a crisis the likes of which we have never seen before. Patients are dying in ambulances waiting for treatment because hospital emergency rooms are overwhelmed. This is not a safe environment for in-person production right now," SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris said in a statement on Monday.

In its guidance, the union encouraged members to stay home and decline on-set employment.

"Even putting aside the risk of acquiring COVID on set — a risk that we have done a great deal to mitigate through our safety protocols — on-set production always poses some risk of injury, whether because of a stunt gone wrong, an equipment failure or a garden-variety fall. Right now, with few if any hospital beds available, it is hard to understand how a worker injured on set is supposed to seek treatment," SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White said.

The Grammys was set to be the start of Hollywood awards season.

The Golden Globes, which is usually held in January, will now be the first award show of the season, if it goes forward. The ceremony is scheduled to take place on Feb. 28 in Beverly Hills, California.

CNN's Marysabel Huston-Crespo contributed to this report.

5:24 p.m. ET, January 5, 2021

Publix will open vaccination sites at 22 locations in Florida

From CNN’s Jamiel Lynch

Publix Supermarkets in three Florida counties are partnering with the Florida Division of Emergency Management and the Florida Department of Health to open Covid-19 vaccination sites at 22 locations, according to a news release from Gov. Ron DeSantis' office.

According to the release, Publix is receiving 15,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine to launch the new pilot program at supermarkets in Citrus, Hernando and Marion counties.

Residents who qualify in Phase 1 of the vaccine rollout can begin making reservations on Thursday and vaccinations will begin on Friday, the release said.

4:37 p.m. ET, January 5, 2021

US stocks end the trading day higher

From CNN's Anneken Tappe 

Traders working on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021. 
Traders working on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021.  Colin Ziemer/New York Stock Exchange/AP

US stocks closed higher on Tuesday, shaking off worries about the runoff election in Georgia and coronavirus infection.

Energy stocks were among the best performers after a group of major oil producing nations agreed to keep production broadly flat in February and March. Saudi Arabia announced a surprise voluntary production cut of one million barrels of oil per day, sending oil prices higher.

In economic data, the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing report showed the sector fared better than expected in December.

Here's how the major indexes closed:

The Dow finished up 0.6%, or 168 points.
The S&P 500 ended 0.7% higher.
The Nasdaq Composite closed up nearly 1%.

Note: As stocks settle after the trading day, levels might still change slightly.

4:11 p.m. ET, January 5, 2021

First case of UK variant found in Georgia, state's health department says 

From CNN’s Jamiel Lynch

The first case of the UK Covid-19 variant has been identified in Georgia, according to a release from the state Department of Health. 

"The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is announcing Georgia’s first case of COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7, the same variant discovered in the U.K. and in several other countries and U.S. states," the department said in a news release.

The variant was discovered during analysis of a specimen sent by a pharmacy in Georgia to a commercial lab, the release said. The resident is an 18-year-old man with no travel history who is currently isolating at home.

Previously, cases of the UK variant have been reported in Colorado, California and New York. Last week, the US Centers for Disease Control and prevention said data suggests the new Covid-19 variant has been circulating undetected in the United States and transmitted person to person.