January 19 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Adam Renton, Lauren Said-Moorhouse, Sharon Braithwaite and Ed Upright, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, January 20, 2021
42 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
3:07 p.m. ET, January 19, 2021

US surpasses 400,000 total deaths from Covid-19

From CNN’s Amanda Watts and Virginia Langmaid 

Members of the National Guard assist with processing Covid-19 deaths and placing them into temporary storage at LA County Medical Examiner-Coroner Office in Los Angeles on January 12 in Los Angeles.
Members of the National Guard assist with processing Covid-19 deaths and placing them into temporary storage at LA County Medical Examiner-Coroner Office in Los Angeles on January 12 in Los Angeles. LA County Dept. of Medical Examiner-Coroner/AP

There have been at least 400,022 reported deaths from Covid-19 in the United States since the pandemic began, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

At least 24,163,707 coronavirus cases have been reported in the US, Johns Hopkins data shows.

This is the fastest the United States has tallied 100,000 new Covid-19 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins data.

Johns Hopkins recorded the first death from Covid-19 on Feb. 29 in Washington state. Later in the spring, two earlier deaths in California were posthumously confirmed to be from Covid-19.

2:51 p.m. ET, January 19, 2021

Woman who lived through 1918 flu pandemic gets Covid-19 vaccine on 108th birthday

From CNN’s Sarah Dean

Marion Dawson receives her COVID 19 vaccine.
Marion Dawson receives her COVID 19 vaccine. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

A Scottish woman who lived through two world wars and the 1918 flu pandemic has received her first dose of coronavirus vaccine on her 108th birthday.

Marion Dawson, who was born in 1913 and is believed to be the third oldest person in Scotland, received her vaccine at a church in Houston, Renfrewshire, on Tuesday, according to a news release from local health trust NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. 

"I’m glad it’s passed. I never felt a thing," Dawson said after receiving the vaccine, according to the release.

Rev. Gary Noonan, minister for Houston and Killellan Kirk church, called Dawson a "local treasure."

"Mrs. Dawson is a local treasure in Houston, having lived through two world wars and until the lockdown she never missed a week at church. It’s fitting she can get her vaccine in the Kirk, a place she loves," Noonan said.

2:54 p.m. ET, January 19, 2021

New Orleans Jazz Fest pushed to October due to Covid-19

From CNN's Kay Jones

A New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival sign is seen at Fair Grounds Race Course on May 2, 2019 in New Orleans.
A New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival sign is seen at Fair Grounds Race Course on May 2, 2019 in New Orleans. Tim Mosenfelder/WireImage

The 2021 New Orleans Jazz Fest has been postponed until October, according to a statement posted on the festival's website.

Normally held in the Spring, Jazz Fest is being pushed to Oct. 8-17 due to the ongoing pandemic, the statement said. 

"We are all ready to get together again and share that special spirit that lives at Jazz Fest. It’s taking longer than we want, but we’ll all have our celebration when the time comes," Quint Davis, Producer/Director of Jazz Fest, said in the statement. "Your health, along with the health of our musicians, food and crafts vendors, and all of the folks that work to make the magic happen, remains the priority as we plan the return of Jazz Fest."

Organizers plan to announce details for the 2021 festival this coming Spring, the statement said. 

The 2020 version of Jazz Fest was canceled due to Covid-19, marking the first time in the festival's 50 years that it did not take place.

2:47 p.m. ET, January 19, 2021

Azar says HHS has met hundreds of times with Biden's team

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar speaks during a State of the Department address on January 19.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar speaks during a State of the Department address on January 19. HHS

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said that the department has had hundreds of meetings with the Biden administration and is committed to a seamless transition.

“Changing administrations is no simple task during ordinary times, let alone during a pandemic. We’ve had hundreds of meetings now with President-elect Biden’s team, intent on handing over the reins to the Biden administration in the most seamless way possible,” Azar said during a State of the Department address Tuesday.

Some context: His comments come despite multiple officials familiar with the transition telling CNN they are concerned about the lack of full cooperation transparency from the outgoing administration and believe this has contributed to frustration and concern from Biden’s Covid team about understanding the problems they must confront.

 

2:14 p.m. ET, January 19, 2021

About 2.5 million US children have tested positive for Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic

From CNN's Jen Christensen

About 2.5 million children in the US have tested positive for Covid-19 as of Jan. 14, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

Last week alone, 211,466 new child cases were identified through testing, the report said. That’s an 18% increase in child Covid-19 cases over two weeks. Children represent 12.6% of all cases in the US. 

Children made up between 6% and 19% of those who were tested for Covid-19, and 7.3%to 27% of children tested were positive for the coronavirus, depending on the state.

Remember: Children are still considered much less likely than adults to develop severe symptoms of Covid-19 or to die from the disease. Children represented 1.2% to 2.8% of total reported hospitalizations for Covid-19, based on the information provided by 24 states and New York City. Only 0.2% to 3.1% of all cases of Covid-19 in children required hospitalization. 

Twelve states reported zero child deaths among the 43 states that provided data on Covid-19 mortality. The states that did report having a fatal case saw no more than 0.06% of deaths in children among all confirmed cases of Covid-19. 

2:03 p.m. ET, January 19, 2021

At least 79% of first doses of the vaccine have been administered to New Yorkers

From CNN's Sheena Jones

A shot of the COVID-19 vaccine is prepared for nursing home residents at Harlem Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation on January 15 in New York.
A shot of the COVID-19 vaccine is prepared for nursing home residents at Harlem Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation on January 15 in New York. Yuki Iwamura/AP

The state of New York has administered at least 79% of first doses of the coronavirus vaccine received from the federal government, according to a news release from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

"This is a major milestone in the fight to defeat COVID-19. Despite the federal government opening up the floodgates of eligibility while decreasing the supply of vaccines, 1 million eligible New Yorkers and all nursing home residents and staff who wanted the vaccine have already been inoculated with the first dose," Cuomo said in the release.

"To build on that momentum, I'm calling on the federal government to do its part and increase supply. We need to continue vaccinating all eligible New Yorkers quickly and equitably, and the more vaccines we have, the more easily we can accomplish that goal and spread immunity," he added.

The state reported at least 12,185 additional cases of Covid-19, according to its Covid-19 dashboard.

1:54 p.m. ET, January 19, 2021

Fauci says it "has not been an easy thing" to have to contradict Trump on scientific facts 

From CNN’s Lauren Mascarenhas

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks at the National Institutes of Health on December 22, 2020, in Bethesda, Maryland.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks at the National Institutes of Health on December 22, 2020, in Bethesda, Maryland. Patrick Semansky/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

It hasn’t been easy to stand by facts and science while working under President Trump, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday.

“It's not a happy day when you have to get up in front of national TV and contradict” what the President says, Fauci said in an interview hosted by the Harvard Business Review. “I take no pleasure in that at all.”

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he made a commitment to tell the truth, no matter what administration he works for. He has served under six presidents.

“It's been particularly problematic here because that would often put me in direct conflict – not emotional conflict, but factual conflict – with what the President might say, so obviously that that has not been an easy thing to do," he said.

1:28 p.m. ET, January 19, 2021

The Americas reported more than 2.5 million new Covid-19 cases last week

From CNN’s Claudia Rebaza

The Americas region reported more than 2.5 million new Covid-19 cases last week, more than half of all global infections, Pan American Health Organization’s (PAHO) Director Carissa Etienne said during a virtual news conference on Tuesday.

The PAHO director warned reporters that her concern for the next few weeks in the region where hospitals and health systems are already struggling. 

“Throughout our region, especially in North and South America, many hospitals are operating at a very close to capacity,” Etienne said.

“The reports from Manaus in Brazil, illustrate what happens when a health system lacks enough capacity to cope with the speed of new infections. But it is not just Manaus that is at risk, we've had reports of oxygen being rationed in some locations in the United States of America and in Peru,” Etienne explained. 

The PAHO director said the intensive care unit occupancy rate stands at 90% in some parts of Peru, while several areas in Brazil and Ecuador are operating close to their capacity.

“In Mexico City, the majority of beds are occupied by Covid-19 patients and hospital capacity continues to be challenged in countries of the southern cone like Chile, Argentina and Uruguay," Etienne added.

Etienne also told reporters that the new Covid-19 variants detected in the UK, South Africa and Brazil “are also concerning as they may be playing a role in accelerating new infections” in the region.

The PAHO director urged the region’s leadership to keep stressing preventive Covid-19 measures in their countries despite the vaccine roll out in some of them.

“Currently, the doses available for use are very limited and will remain in short supply everywhere. As manufacturers raise to meet global demand over the next few months,” Etienne told reporters. 

“There are nearly a billion people to immunize in our region," she added. 

The PAHO’s assistant director, Dr. Jarbas Barbosa, said his organization expects to distribute 20 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines during March throughout the region via the Covax program.

Covax is coordinated by the World Health Organization, global vaccines initiative Gavi and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

1:31 p.m. ET, January 19, 2021

Pennsylvania widens Covid-19 vaccine eligibility

From CNN's Sheena Jones

A syringe is filled with a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Berks Community Health Center in Reading, Pennsylvania, on January 6.
A syringe is filled with a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Berks Community Health Center in Reading, Pennsylvania, on January 6. Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle/Getty Images

Pennsylvania is loosening its Covid-19 vaccination requirements under Phase 1A, the state department of health announced Tuesday. 

Effective Tuesday, anyone over the age of 65 and those aged 16 to 64 with "serious medical conditions that make them more at risk for severe illness" can take the vaccine. 

Some of those conditions include cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and severe obesity, according to the state’s vaccine rollout plan. Pennsylvania is still currently in Phase 1A. 

The wider vaccination eligibility comes as the health department reported 5,341 new Covid-19 cases and 77 virus-related deaths. That brings the statewide cumulative totals to 777,186 and 19,467, respectively. 

So far, 477,929 vaccine doses have been administered, according to the health department. 

Earlier Tuesday, President-elect Joe Biden tapped the state’s health secretary, Rachel Levine, to serve as assistant health secretary at the Department of Health and Human-Services. If confirmed, Levine would be the first openly transgender federal official confirmed by the US Senate. 

Note: These numbers were released by the state’s health agency, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.