January 28 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Adam Renton, Zahid Mahmood and Ed Upright, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, January 29, 2021
11 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
1:30 a.m. ET, January 28, 2021

US reports more than 152,000 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Joe Sutton in Atlanta

The United States reported 152,478 new coronavirus infections and 3,943 virus-related deaths on Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

JHU's tally now shows a total of 25,598,061 cases nationwide, including 429,195 fatalities.

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

Vaccines: At least 47,230,950 vaccine doses have been distributed and at least 24,652,634 shots administered, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Track US cases here.

12:53 a.m. ET, January 28, 2021

Washington restricts Covid-19 mass vaccination sites to people who live or work in state

From CNN’s Andy Rose

The Washington Department of Health says only people who live or work in the state will be allowed to use one of their mass vaccination sites.

In a written statement, the department says the policy exists “given the limited supply of vaccine that is available at this time and our state’s commitment to equitable and fair access to vaccine.”

The state runs mass vaccination sites in four communities: Ridgefield, Spokane, Kennewick, and Wenatchee.

The Department of Health says people will not be turned away due to their immigration status but must have a document which proves they either live or work in Washington when they come for a vaccination. The document will be checked by workers but will not be kept on file in order to maintain privacy.

The policy does not affect vaccine doses distributed at other locations in the state.

12:30 a.m. ET, January 28, 2021

WHO team prepare to leave Wuhan quarantine and start investigating origin of Covid-19

From CNN's Sandi Sidhu in Hong Kong

A team of international World Health Organization (WHO) investigators will finish hotel quarantine on Thursday, according to Chinese state media outlet CGTN.

CGTN reports that the expert panel will conduct scientific research with local experts, after completing their 14-day quarantine in a Wuhan hotel. 

"The two sides will soon conduct joint fieldwork," the state media report said. 

Dr. Peter Daszak, a British scientist based in New York, tweeted on Thursday that he is "Moving into next phase of work now w/ @WHO mission team & China counterparts."

Professor Marion Koopman from the Netherlands told CNN on Wednesday that the international panel had conducted Zoom meetings during quarantine with Chinese scientists who have been studying the origin of the virus since the outbreak. 

The 13-member WHO expert panel arrived in China on January 14, with another two experts delayed from entering after testing positive for coronavirus antibodies.

CNN has reached out to WHO for an update. 

12:14 a.m. ET, January 28, 2021

Pulling off Tokyo 2020 will be a logistical nightmare ... and the clock is ticking

From CNN's Selina Wang and Joshua Berlinger

UFC had "fight island." The NBA had "the bubble."

Tokyo 2020 may need a miracle.

After the Covid-19 pandemic forced organizers to delay the Summer Olympics last year, the Games are now are set to begin in less than six months on July 23, and major questions remain as to how Japan plans to pull off what could prove to be the most complex sporting event ever held -- one involving more than 11,000 athletes from more than 200 countries who must be kept safe from a virus that has infected 100 million people and killed more than 2 million.

On Wednesday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach vowed that the event would go ahead.

"Our task is to organize Olympic Games and not to cancel Olympic Games," he said, adding that the IOC is working "day and night" to host a safe event.

It may just be doable. The UFC and the NBA proved last year that it's possible to safely hold a major sporting event during the pandemic, as long as those involved are willing to make some sacrifices and get creative. UFC moved all its fights to an island in Abu Dhabi, while the NBA finished its 2019-2020 season at a campus in Disneyland with stringent rules to keep the virus out. Both proved successful, but those two events pale in comparison to the Summer Olympics in terms of sheer size and complexity.

Read the full story:

12:07 a.m. ET, January 28, 2021

Watch the entire CNN coronavirus town hall

From CNN's Caroline Baxendale

CNN's Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta hosted a global town hall to discuss the coronavirus pandemic with Dr. Anthony Fauci, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky and Chair of the Covid-19 health equity task force Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith.

The discussion ranged from vaccine rollout and supply issues to the effort to vaccinate those in communities of color and included a warning from the CDC director against all forms of non-essential travel.

Watch the full event here:

12:49 a.m. ET, January 28, 2021

Motorists stranded in snowstorm get Covid-19 vaccine

From CNN’s Andy Rose

Josephine County Public Health workers administered leftover vaccine doses to motorists who were stranded in a snowstorm.
Josephine County Public Health workers administered leftover vaccine doses to motorists who were stranded in a snowstorm. Josephine County Public Health

Many people must drive miles to get a Covid-19 vaccine, but some travelers in southwestern Oregon had the vaccine come to them Tuesday under treacherous weather conditions.

Josephine County Public Health said their workers were returning from a mass vaccination clinic at Illinois Valley High School in Cave Junction when about 20 members of the group became stranded in a snowstorm at Hayes Hill.

There were still six leftover doses of the vaccine in their possession.

To keep those doses from going unused before they expired, the health department said their workers went from car to car to offer people the opportunity to get a shot.

An ambulance was on standby nearby in case any recipients experienced an adverse reaction.

All six doses were administered to the waylaid motorists. The Josephine County Health Department said one recipient turned out to be a sheriff’s office employee who had intended to be at the earlier mass vaccination site but got stuck in the snow.

8:20 p.m. ET, January 27, 2021

Most US states have identified cases of coronavirus variant first spotted in UK, CDC reports

From CNN's Michael Nedelman

At least 315 cases of a coronavirus variant first spotted in the UK have been detected in 28 US states, according to data posted Wednesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This includes 92 cases in Florida, 92 in California, 22 in New York, 17 in Michigan and 14 in Georgia. The following states have found fewer than 10 cases each: Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

One thing to note: The CDC said 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.

The variant -- which is known as B.1.1.7 and appears to spread more easily -- has also been found in at least 70 countries, according to the World Health Organization.

8:02 p.m. ET, January 27, 2021

Covid-19 variant first seen in UK has now been detected in at least 70 countries, WHO says

From CNN’s Virginia Langmaid

A coronavirus variant first seen in Britain has been detected in at least 70 countries, according to the World Health Organization’s weekly epidemiological report. 

This report added 10 countries to the list where this variant, known as B.1.1.7 or VOC 202012/01, has been detected. According to WHO, incidences of this variant are declining in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Ireland and the Netherlands. 

Other strains: A variant first identified in South Africa has been detected in 31 countries, according to the WHO. Southeast Asia is the only WHO region that has not reported a case of this variant so far. It’s widely known as B.1.135.

Variant P.1, first identified in Brazil, has been detected in eight countries. This report adds six countries to the last update on variants. 

1:34 a.m. ET, January 28, 2021

It will "be months" before all Americans can get vaccines, White House Covid-19 adviser says

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Andy Slavitt, senior adviser to the White House Covid-19 Response Team, said it will "be months" before all Americans who want a Covid-19 vaccine can get one. 

“I want to level with the public that we're facing two constraining factors. The first is getting enough supply quickly enough, and the second is the ability to administer the vaccines quickly once they're produced and sent out to the sites,” Slavitt said.

“We are taking action to increase supply and increase capacity, but even so, it will be months before everyone who wants a vaccine will be able to get one,” he added.

Slavitt said so far this week, the Biden administration has hit its initial target of 1 million vaccinations per day. That number of doses is “the floor, not the ceiling,” he said. 

The administration has delivered 47 million doses to states and long-term care facilities, yet 24 million doses have been administered, according to Slavitt. 

“Any stockpile that may have existed previously no longer exists. Our practice is to maintain a rolling inventory of two to three days of supply that we can use to supplement any shortfalls in production and to ensure that we are making deliveries as committed,” he said. 

On Tuesday, Biden announced a series of measures aimed at ramping up coronavirus vaccine allocation and distribution, including the purchase of 200 million more vaccine doses and increased distribution to states by millions of doses next week.

With those additional doses, Biden said there would be enough to fully vaccinate 300 million Americans -- nearly the entire US population -- by the end of summer or early fall.