February 2 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung and Adam Renton, CNN

Updated 12:02 a.m. ET, February 3, 2021
51 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
6:21 p.m. ET, February 2, 2021

California sees lowest Covid-19 case count since Thanksgiving

From CNN’s Jessica Myers and Cheri Mossburg

Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly
Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly CA Department of Public Health

California on Tuesday added slightly more than 12,000 new Covid-19 cases, the lowest daily case count in a state roiled by a dramatic holiday surge since Thanksgiving, according to data from the state health department. 

“We haven’t seen a number quite like this in some time,” Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly said in a news conference. Just two weeks ago, the state reported an average daily count of about 40,000 new cases.

But while state health officials are seeing signs of optimism after the darkest months yet of the pandemic, they are renewing calls to avoid gatherings ahead of the Super Bowl and Lunar New Year, cautioning it could lead to another deadly surge of the virus that has claimed the lives of more than 41,000 Californians.

Looking ahead: Hospitalizations are projected to drop by more than half over the course of the next month, Ghaly said. In the past two weeks, there has been a 29% decrease in hospitalizations with more than 14,000 patients receiving treatment. About 3,800 of those people are in intensive care units. 

Those projections have led to the regional stay-at-home orders being dropped statewide. ICU capacity projections were a driving force in those restrictions, and now the entire state is expected to be well above the 15% threshold set by the state. In stark new projections, Southern California, which has been the state’s hardest hit region, is expected to have the most ICU capacity in the state by this time next month.

But more than 1,000 instances of Covid-19 variants have been detected in California to date – two different versions of the West Coast variants along with the UK variant.  

“Variants create another wildcard,” Ghaly said, adding that the new strains are cause of genuine concern that are being closely watched as the state continues to actively sequence mutations and build up capacity to do more.

“If you give Covid an inch, it will take a mile,” he cautioned.
5:19 p.m. ET, February 2, 2021

Pediatricians say they should help give Covid-19 vaccines

From CNN’s Lauren Mascarenhas

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is advocating for pediatricians to help give Covid-19 vaccines in the US.

In guidance released Tuesday, AAP said that pediatricians are experienced in safely vaccinating large numbers of children, teens and young adults and could play an important role in the expanded distribution of Covid-19 vaccines. 

“The AAP recognizes and supports the administration of vaccines to parents and other adults within the pediatric office and advocates for the inclusion of willing pediatric offices as vaccination sites for the general public,” AAP said in a statement. “Appropriate resources should be provided to those offices that assist in this process.”
5:09 p.m. ET, February 2, 2021

100,000 people in the US have died of Covid-19 so far this year

From CNN’s Amanda Watts and Virginia Langmaid

More than 100,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the United States so far in 2021, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Since Jan. 1, 2021, the US has reported a total of 100,317 deaths from Covid-19, according to Johns Hopkins. In total, since the pandemic began, the US has reported at least 446,272 total deaths. 

Johns Hopkins recorded the first US death from Covid-19 on Feb. 29, 2020, in Washington state. Later in the spring, two earlier deaths in California were posthumously confirmed to be from Covid-19.

It took the US until May 23, 2020 – 84 days later – to reach the first 100,000 deaths. 

Since Jan. 1, 2021, the United States has tallied the most recent 100,000 deaths in just 32 days.

The US has more deaths than any other country in the world, Johns Hopkins data shows. Brazil has tallied over 200,000 deaths. Mexico, India, and the United Kingdom have all reported over 100,000 deaths. 

4:42 p.m. ET, February 2, 2021

You will be able to get a Covid-19 vaccine at two major pharmacies in some states starting next week

From CNN’s Samira Said

A man waits for pharmacist Joe Borge at a Walgreens in Danvers, Massachusetts, on Monday. CVS and Walgreens have been providing vaccinations in some states using those states' supplies. Soon they will get sent vaccines directly from the federal government.
A man waits for pharmacist Joe Borge at a Walgreens in Danvers, Massachusetts, on Monday. CVS and Walgreens have been providing vaccinations in some states using those states' supplies. Soon they will get sent vaccines directly from the federal government. Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe/Getty Images

CVS and Walgreens will begin vaccinations as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program starting next week, the pharmacy chains announced on Tuesday.  

CVS said the federal government will provide around 250,000 doses directly to the pharmacy chain and it will administer those doses in 11 states starting on Feb. 11.  

Walgreens said it will get around 170,000 doses, which it will administer in 15 jurisdictions starting on Feb. 12.

Here's where they will be available:

  • CVS: The 11 states are California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York (not including New York City), Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.
  • Walgreens: The 15 jurisdictions are Chicago, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, New York City, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

Eligibility requirements in each jurisdiction still apply for both pharmacies.

While CVS and Walgreens have been providing vaccinations in some states using supply from those states, this will be the first time the vaccine will be sent directly from the federal government.

While CVS has been providing vaccinations in some states using supply from those states, this will be the first time CVS will be sent the vaccine directly from the federal government.  

The Biden administration announced Tuesday it will begin direct shipments of coronavirus vaccines to retail pharmacies starting on Feb. 11, to about 6,500 stores that will receive a total of one million doses before eventually expanding.

4:31 p.m. ET, February 2, 2021

French president says anyone who wants a vaccine will have it by end of summer 2021

From CNN’s Pierre Bairin

French President Emmanuel Macron holds a video-conference meeting in Paris on Tuesday.
French President Emmanuel Macron holds a video-conference meeting in Paris on Tuesday. Ian Langsdon/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron vowed Tuesday that all French people who want the vaccine will have it by the end of summer 2021.

“That is exactly the same pace, the same method, as our German neighbors and our other European neighbors," Macron said in a live interview with French TV channel TF1 on Tuesday. 

He added that all those in nursing homes who want a vaccine will be vaccinated by early March of this year – amounting to about 500,000 people.

Macron also announced that France would begin producing vaccines in country at four converted sites starting next month, following a meeting with representatives of the pharmaceutical industry on Tuesday.

He didn’t specify which vaccines would be produced at the new sites, but he cited as an example the impending conversion by pharmaceutical firm Sanofi of one of its facilities in Germany to produce the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine in coming months.

“Our limitation today is in our capacity to produce more vaccines on a large-scale, first for ourselves, but also for the poorest countries. Because if we don't also vaccinate in these countries, the virus will mutate, it will unfairly hit the poorest, and then the virus will come back to our countries," he said.

But Macron did not rule out a third lockdown, saying, “Today, the virus is circulating at a great speed. We are on what is called a plateau, we have had between 20,000 and 25,000 new cases per day for several weeks. Every day, we look very closely at the contamination figures, hospitalization and ICU figures, I will try to take the most appropriate decisions at each stage to hold together all these objectives for our country.”

4:33 p.m. ET, February 2, 2021

More people in the US have received one dose of vaccine than have been infected with Covid-19, CDC says

From CNN’s Virginia Langmaid

The number of people who have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine in the United States is now more than the number of Covid-19 cases in the US over the course of the entire pandemic, according to data from Johns Hopkins University and from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Tuesday, the CDC reported 26,440,836 people have received one or more doses of a Covid-19 vaccine. Johns Hopkins has reported 26,384,829 cumulative Covid-19 cases in the US as of now.

According to the CDC, 6,064,792 people have received both doses of a vaccine and are fully vaccinated. This is about 1.84% of the United States.

However, Covid-19 infections across the nation are estimated to be much higher than the actual number of cases reported, the CDC says. In mid-January CDC estimated the US has actually seen 83.1 million Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began.

Remember: This is an ongoing tally. Today’s final numbers will not be available until overnight tonight. States have 72 hours to report vaccine data, so data published by the CDC may be delayed – and may not necessarily mean all doses were given on the day reported.

4:18 p.m. ET, February 2, 2021

WHO reports 13% decline in new global coronavirus cases from last week

From CNN's Lauren Mascarenhas

The number of newly reported global coronavirus cases declined by 13% in the week leading up to Jan. 31, the World Health Organization reported in an update Tuesday.

WHO says 3.7 million new cases and 96,000 deaths were reported in the week leading up to Jan. 31 – the third consecutive week of declining cases.

That brings the total to more than 102.1 million reported cases and 2.2 million deaths around the world since the pandemic began. When WHO declared Covid-19 an international public health emergency one year ago, the global count was 9,826 cases in 20 countries and 213 deaths, all in China.

The US is currently reporting the highest number of new cases, by far, followed by Brazil, the UK and Northern Ireland, France, and Russia.

WHO also included an update on Covid-19 variants in the report, noting that the B.1.1.7 variant first identified in the UK has now been identified in 80 countries, the B.1.351 variant first spotted in South Africa has been identified in 41, and the P.1 variant that spread in Brazil has been identified in 10.

4:06 p.m. ET, February 2, 2021

About 32.8 million Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the US, new CDC data shows

From CNN’s Deidre McPhillips

People receive Covid-19 vaccines at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, on Monday.
People receive Covid-19 vaccines at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, on Monday. Joseph Prezioso/AFP/Getty Images

About 32.8 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in the United States, according to data published Tuesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC reported that at least 32,780,860 total doses have been administered, about 62% of the 52,657,675 doses distributed.

That’s about 558,000 more administered doses reported since yesterday, for a seven-day average of about 1.3 million doses per day. 

About 8% of the US population – more than 26.4 million people – have now received at least one dose of the vaccine and about 6 million people have been fully vaccinated, CDC data shows. 

Remember: States have 72 hours to report vaccine data, so data published by the CDC may be delayed – and may not necessarily mean all doses were given on the day reported. 

3:59 p.m. ET, February 2, 2021

States reallocate hundreds of thousands of vaccine doses held in federal long-term care program

From CNN’s Nadia Kounan

States are reallocating hundreds of thousands of vaccine doses – initially set aside to vaccinate long-term care residents and staff members – through a federal partnership between the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and pharmacies including Walgreens and CVS. 

CNN has counted at least 254,750 doses being repurposed by 10 states. That is equal to more than 8% of all people who have been administered at least one dose through the federal program. 

In a call with governors last week, the Biden administration told states that they should be re-appropriating vaccines that had been earmarked for the program but hadn’t been used within a week of delivery.  

On Monday, Andy Slavitt, an adviser to the Biden administration, said the White House continues to ensure that doses are allocated to people who will use them.

“We have been working with states and with those distributors to make sure that those excess doses quickly get to the places that [they're] needed when they exist,” Slavitt said. 

Last week, Utah reallocated 28,275 doses back into the hands of the state to be redistributed. 

The CDC told CNN at least 24 such transfers have been approved but states and jurisdictions can work directly with the pharmacies to redistribute vaccine as needed. 

Already, the states of Arkansas and New Jersey are taking back 30,000 doses each. New Jersey has also stopped the delivery of 44,000 doses that had been allocated to the federal program. The state of New York is reallocating 50,000 doses.  

In a letter posted to Twitter on Friday, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster announced that the state was reallocating 37,800 doses to vaccine providers in the state. “These surplus vaccines should be made available to members of the general public right away rather than at the completion of the LTC program."  

Earlier today, the Biden administration announced they will be putting one million doses towards the first phase of the retail pharmacy program – a similar partnership between the federal government and retail pharmacies, but this time geared towards vaccinating the general public.