January 11 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Tara John, Florence Davey-Attlee and Ed Upright, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, January 12, 2021
45 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
7:15 p.m. ET, January 11, 2021

CDC reports more than 70 US cases of variant first identified in UK

From CNN’s Michael Nedelman

At least 72 cases of a variant first identified in the UK have been found in 10 US states, according to data posted Monday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This includes at least 32 cases in California, 22 cases in Florida, five cases in Minnesota, four cases in New York, three cases in Colorado, two cases in Connecticut, and one case each in Texas, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Georgia.

CDC says this does not represent the total number of cases circulating in the US, but rather just those that have been found by analyzing positive samples. The agency cautions that its numbers may not immediately match those of state and local health departments.

While the variant appears to spread more easily, there's no evidence that it's any more deadly or causes more severe disease, according to CDC. The variant has also been identified in nearly four dozen countries worldwide.

Experts suspect there could be many more cases in the country and have criticized the US for not doing more genetic sequencing of virus samples to surveil for mutations. Earlier this month, a CDC official told CNN the agency plans to more than double the number of samples it sequences by mid-January — with a target of 6,500 per week.

6:48 p.m. ET, January 11, 2021

Portugal's president tests positive for coronavirus

From CNN’s Duarte Mendonca

Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa delivers a speech at the Portuguese Parliament in Lisbon, Portugal, on December 14, 2020.
Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa delivers a speech at the Portuguese Parliament in Lisbon, Portugal, on December 14, 2020. Pedro Fiúza/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Portugal’s President, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, has tested positive for coronavirus, but is asymptomatic, the Portuguese Presidency official website announced Monday.

“Having the President of the Republic tested negative yesterday, and despite today's antigen test being negative, it is now known, at 9:40 pm, that the PCR test was positive,” the statement said.

The president of the Assembly of the Republic, the prime minister and the health minister have all been informed of Rebelo de Sousa’s health condition and any upcoming appointments have been canceled, according to the statement.

Among some of his appointments was a scheduled appearance on National Television, where Rebelo de Sousa was expected to face all of his opposition leaders in a debate on Tuesday, marking another important event in the lead-up to the country’s presidential elections on Jan. 24.

Rebelo de Sousa had already started his series of in-person debate appearances, with his latest on Saturday against Ana Gomes of the Socialist Party.

While it is unknown whether or not Gomes will have to self-isolate, the Socialist candidate to the Portuguese Presidency tweeted on Monday her wishes for the President’s “quick and frank recovery” and she hopes he continues to not show any symptoms.

Portugal’s Prime Minister, António Costa, also reacted on Twitter, saying both have spoken over the phone and wishing the President “his sincere wishes for a quick and complete recovery.”

Rebelo de Sousa will continue working at the presidential residence in Belém and will remain in isolation, while awaiting further developments from an epidemiological inquiry, the statement added. 

6:38 p.m. ET, January 11, 2021

CDC says there is no maximum time to wait for second coronavirus shot

From CNN’s Maggie Fox

A nurse prepares a dose of the Moderna coronavirus disease vaccine at South Bronx Educational Campus in New York on January 10.
A nurse prepares a dose of the Moderna coronavirus disease vaccine at South Bronx Educational Campus in New York on January 10. Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images

There’s no maximum time between a first and second coronavirus shot, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.

In updated guidance about what people can expect from Covid-19 shots, the CDC indicated that Americans should not worry too much about waiting longer than the recommended time for a second dose of vaccine.

“Both COVID-19 mRNA vaccines will need 2 shots to get the most protection. The timing between your first and second shot depends on which vaccine you received,” the CDC says in additions made to its website Monday.

“You should get your second shot: for the Pfizer-BioNTech 3 weeks (or 21 days) after your first shot; for the Moderna 1 month (or 28 days) after your first shot,” it adds.

“You should get your second shot as close to the recommended 3-week or 1-month interval as possible. However, there is no maximum interval between the first and second doses for either vaccine. You should not get the second dose earlier than the recommended interval."

The World Health Organization said last week that people can wait for as long as six weeks between doses. Pfizer and Moderna both say they don’t have any data on how long people can wait between doses and still get good protection. But the CDC, WHO, the companies and other experts all say people need to make sure they get two doses of coronavirus vaccine.

Johnson & Johnson is finishing up trials of its vaccine, which is designed to need only a single dose.

“With most COVID-19 vaccines, you will need 2 shots in order for them to work. Get the second shot even if you have side effects after the first shot, unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get a second shot,” the CDC said. “It takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination. COVID-19 vaccines that require 2 shots may not protect you until a week or two after your second shot.”

6:33 p.m. ET, January 11, 2021

More than 375,000 people have died from coronavirus in the US

From CNN’s Virginia Langmaid

There have been at least 22,557,929 cases of coronavirus in the US, and least 375,576 people have died from the virus, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.

So far today, Johns Hopkins University has reported 148,797 new cases and 1,247 new deaths.   

At least 25,480,725 vaccine doses have been distributed and at least 8,987,322 doses of the vaccine have been administered, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases.  

4:45 p.m. ET, January 11, 2021

Indiana confirms case of Covid-19 variant first identified in the UK

From CNN's Sahar Akbarzai

A case of the Covid-19 variant that was first identified in the UK has been diagnosed in Indiana, a spokesperson for the Indiana Department of Health confirmed to CNN in an email. 

"A new strain of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been identified in Indiana. The strain, which was identified through testing at the Department of Health laboratory and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is the same one identified in the United Kingdom last fall," Megan Wade-Taxter with the Indiana Department of Health said in an email.

The state is not releasing any additional details about the case due to privacy laws. More than 50 cases of the new coronavirus variant have been found in the US so far, according to the CDC. 

4:46 p.m. ET, January 11, 2021

University of California planning a return to in-person learning in the fall

From CNN's Alexandra Meeks

A lone pedestrian walks by Sather Gate on the U.C. Berkeley campus on July 22, 2020 in Berkeley, California.
A lone pedestrian walks by Sather Gate on the U.C. Berkeley campus on July 22, 2020 in Berkeley, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The University of California is planning to return to primarily in-person instruction statewide beginning fall 2021 as access to Covid-19 vaccines becomes more widely accessible, UC officials announced in press release Monday. The University of California system encompasses 10 schools and five medical centers with 280,380 students.

"With robust research advancements and COVID-19 vaccines soon becoming available to students, staff and faculty, UC is preparing to welcome students back to all its campuses this fall, while remaining vigilant in all critical prevention efforts and continuing to prioritize the health and well-being of the University community," the press release said.

UC schools statewide have been primarily offering remote-only instruction for several months due to the increasing number of Covid-19 infections across the state, as well as various regional stay-at-home orders. On campus housing has also continued to operate at reduced capacity with additional safety protocols in place.

"As the University continues to monitor the evolution of the pandemic, we are also carefully planning a safe return to in-person classes," said President Michael V. Drake, M.D., who made the decision in consultation with the 10 UC chancellors. "Current forecasts give us hope that in the fall our students can enjoy a more normal on-campus experience," he added.

In Los Angeles, where Covid-19 deaths are now at its highest peak, the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) announced it will continue to offer remote-only instruction through Spring 2021, with the exception of a limited number of in-person or hybrid courses necessary to train students for essential workforce positions.

Officials said more specific plans for the resumption of fall 2021 classes, including additional safety measures and starting dates, will be announced by individual UC campuses depending on local and state health guidelines.

5:00 p.m. ET, January 11, 2021

At least two gorillas at San Diego Zoo test positive for Covid-19

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

From Ken Bohn/San Diego Zoo
From Ken Bohn/San Diego Zoo

At least two gorillas at San Diego Zoo are infected with Covid-19, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday.

Three animals are currently showing symptoms and it is suspected that the primates were infected by an asymptomatic staff member, according to a news release from the zoo. 

This is the first known instance of coronavirus in great apes, though previous research has shown that some non-human primates are susceptible to the virus. The gorilla troop lives together as a family, so it is assumed that all members have been exposed to the virus, zoo officials say.

On Wednesday of last week, two San Diego Zoo gorillas began coughing. A preliminary test within the troop showed presence of the virus on Friday, and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) confirmed the positive results today. It is unknown if the gorillas will have any serious reaction, the zoo said, but they are being closely monitored.

"Aside from some congestion and coughing, the gorillas are doing well," San Diego Zoo Safari Park Executive Director Lisa Peterson said. "The troop remains quarantined together and are eating and drinking. We are hopeful for a full recovery."

San Diego Zoo has been closed to the public since early December.

2:58 p.m. ET, January 11, 2021

Spain sees a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases over the weekend

From CNN's Tim Lister

Spain reported a sharp rise in the number of coronavirus cases since Friday, making it one of the biggest weekend increases in infections so far.

The Spanish Health Ministry reported 61,422 new infections since Friday, bringing the total to 2,111,782 total Covid-19 cases.

The ministry also reported a dramatic increase in the number of Spaniards infected in the last 14 days – reaching 204,586. 

The director of the Center for Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies, Fernando Simón, said the evolution of the pandemic is in a "clearly ascending phase and is a consequence of the behavior of recent days." 

"We have had a better vacation than we should have done and now we are seeing the consequences," Simón said.

Social and family gatherings will be further restricted on the islands of Mallorca and Ibiza starting this Wednesday to try to curb the spread of the virus. 

The ministry reported a total of 52,275 deaths, and a total of 16,792 people have been admitted to hospital for Covid-19.

Just over a quarter of intensive care beds are now occupied by Covid-19 patients. 

2:30 p.m. ET, January 11, 2021

West Virginia governor announces return to school for 8th grade and below

From CNN’s Amanda Watts 

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice speaks during a press conference on January 11.
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice speaks during a press conference on January 11. WV Governor's Office

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice just announced that schools can reopen for "in-person learning for eighth grade and below" starting on Jan. 19. Grades 9 to 12 will not be in-school. 

During a Monday news conference, Justice said,

"I am signing an executive order to officially allow counties to return to an in-person learning, additional guidance will be published by the State Board of Education later this week."

"Our medical experts believe with all in them, that the exposure for going back to school is extremely minimal. And from the standpoint of our eighth grade on down, it is very, very, very minimal," he said. "And so, they believe that it is absolutely safe."

School sports practices will not be allowed to start until mid-February, with an aim to return to games in March, Justice said. 

Justice said, "There's no playbook, and there's no perfect answer," on how to get back to normal during a pandemic. "But the reality is really simple, our kids are becoming devastated by not being in school."