February 14 coronavirus news

By Jenni Marsh, Jessie Yeung, Amy Woodyatt, Melissa Mahtani and Michael Hayes CNN

Updated 6:09 a.m. ET, February 15, 2021
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3:57 p.m. ET, February 14, 2021

Nearly 53 million Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the US, according to CDC data

From CNN’s Naomi Thomas

A health care worker administers a Covid-19 vaccine in the Bronx, New York, on February 5.
A health care worker administers a Covid-19 vaccine in the Bronx, New York, on February 5. Angus Mordant/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Nearly 53 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in the United States, according to data published today by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC reported that 52,884,356 total doses have been administered – about 72% of the 70,057,800 doses distributed.

That’s about two million more administered doses reported since yesterday, for a 7-day average of about 1.6 million doses per day.

Just over 38 million people have now received at least one dose of the vaccine, and about 14 million people have been fully vaccinated, CDC data shows.

Remember: Data published by the CDC may be delayed, and doses may not have been given on the day reported. 

3:53 p.m. ET, February 14, 2021

New York state extends closing times to 11 p.m. ET

From CNN's Elizabeth Joseph

Bars, restaurants, gyms, and other State Liquor Authority-licensed establishments are able to close at 11 p.m. ET across New York state beginning tonight, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office announced, citing declining coronavirus-related hospitalization and infections rates.

“On Friday, the Governor announced closing times for restaurants and bars would be extended from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. statewide, and this executive order extends that closing time for gyms or fitness centers, casinos, billiards halls, as well as any State Liquor Authority-licensed establishment,” a statement from Cuomo’s office said Sunday.

Over 102,000 first and second doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered across the state in the last 24 hours.

“As of 11AM today, New York's health care distribution sites have received 2,192,675 first doses and already administered 89 percent or 1,957,681 first dose vaccinations and 83 percent of first and second doses. The week 10 allocation from the federal government allocation from the federal government begins mid-week,” the governor’s office added.

3:22 p.m. ET, February 14, 2021

California sees lowest Covid-19 hospitalization numbers since start of December

From CNN's Chuck Johnston and Hollie Silverman

The state of California saw a total of 9,636 hospitalizations Sunday, with 8,996 confirmed and 640 suspected Covid-19 patients, according to a news release from the California Department of Public Health.

This is the lowest number of confirmed and suspected Covid-19 hospitalizations the state has reported since Dec. 1, when a total of 9,365 were reported.

According to the release, 2,632 confirmed and 101 suspected Covid-19 patients are currently in the Intensive Care Unit.

8,842 new cases were reported Sunday for a total of 3,399,878 confirmed cases reported in California since the pandemic began, the release said. 

The 7-day positivity rate is 3.7% and the 14-day positivity rate is 4.6%, according to the release. 

There have been 45,703,217 tests conducted in the state, with 291,580 new tests reported Sunday.

A total of 5,981,552 vaccine doses have been administered as of Sunday, the release added. 


2:56 p.m. ET, February 14, 2021

Czech government comes up with workaround to extend lockdown 

From CNN’s Ivana Kottasova 

The Czech government announced it will impose a new state of emergency over the Covid-19 pandemic at midnight local time on Sunday – working around Parliament’s refusal to extend the existing lockdown. 

The new two-week restrictions come after the government negotiated with the heads of the country’s regions to extend the existing state of emergency to prevent the automatic expiration of some measures at midnight. Parliament last week rejected the government’s proposal over disagreements on how to handle the pandemic.

Among other objections, the opposition says the government has failed to adequately compensate people financially who are affected by the pandemic, saying that means they can’t afford to follow the rules. 

2:29 p.m. ET, February 14, 2021

Mass vaccination sites in Washington state to prioritize second doses this week

From CNN's Chuck Johnston

Washington National Guard personnel prepare to administer Covid-19 vaccinations at Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee, Washington, on January 26.
Washington National Guard personnel prepare to administer Covid-19 vaccinations at Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee, Washington, on January 26. David Ryder/Getty Images

The Washington Department of Health announced that many of the state’s mass vaccination sites will primarily focus on second doses being administered throughout this upcoming week.

“Starting next week, our Ridgefield, Wenatchee and Kennewick sites will prioritize second doses of the vaccine. These sites administer the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which requires a booster shot 3 weeks or 21 days after receiving a first dose,” the DOH said in a release.

“Our Spokane location, which administers Moderna, will administer both first and second doses. Moderna’s booster shot should be given 1 month or 28 days after the first dose,” the DOH added.. 

According to the department, 41,441 people have received their Covid-19 vaccine at the state’s four mass vaccination sites since they opened in January.

2:01 p.m. ET, February 14, 2021

New York's statewide Covid-19 positivity rate remains below 4%, governor says

From CNN's Laura Ly

New York state’s Covid-19 positivity rates – both daily and seven-day average – remained below 4% on Sunday, according to a press release from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office. 

6,593 people are hospitalized with Covid-19, marking a 29% decrease since the state’s post-holiday peak, state data shows.

107 more New Yorkers have died due to Covid-19. The state’s overall pandemic death toll is 37,118, Cuomo said.


2:21 p.m. ET, February 14, 2021

Teacher vaccinations are "essential" to reopening schools, CNN medical analyst says

From CNN’s Naomi Thomas

Dr. Leana Wen on February 14.
Dr. Leana Wen on February 14. CNN

Dr. Leana Wen, CNN medical analyst and former Baltimore health commissioner, said teacher vaccinations are essential when it comes to reopening schools, differing in opinion from guidance released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday.

The CDC guidance included five key strategies for opening schools: universal mask wearing, physical distancing, hand washing, cleaning facilities and improved ventilation. Vaccination was not included as one of them.

“I don’t really understand why we’re even having a debate about this. Of course teacher vaccinations are essential,” Wen told CNN’s Abby Phillip on “Inside Politics Sunday.”

“If we want students to be in school for in-person learning, the least that we can do is to protect the health and well-being of our teachers – especially as in so many parts of the country, teachers are already being made to go back to school in poorly-ventilated, cramped areas, with many students who may not always be masking and practicing physical distancing,” she added.

Wen’s comments are in direct contrast to what CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said on CNN’s “State of the Union” earlier. Walensky said: “I’m a strong advocate of teachers receiving their vaccine, but we don’t believe it’s a prerequisite for schools to reopen.”

12:29 p.m. ET, February 14, 2021

"Mask breaching" is among the reasons behind Covid-19 transmission in schools, CDC director says

From CNN’s Naomi Thomas

Dr. Rochelle Walensky on February 14.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky on February 14. CNN

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, emphasized the need for masking and other mitigation measures when it comes to reopening schools safely.

Asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper on "State of the Union" why schools couldn’t reopen right now if they were following all the latest CDC guidance, Walensky said, “We really don’t want to bring community disease into the classroom.”

“We also know that mask breaching is among the reasons that we have transmission within schools when it happens,” Walensky said. “So, we really need to do the hard work to make sure that there’s universal masking, there’s strict six feet of distancing between, that there’s cohorting or podding, so that there’s restriction of disease if it were to be transmitted, you know, and all of the contact tracing and whatnot that needs to be done, and all of that is really hard to put together.”

Wearing masks is one of the five key mitigation strategies included in the CDC’s new guidance for reopening schools.

11:50 a.m. ET, February 14, 2021

Precautions not vaccines are helping the current decline in case rates, former CDC director suggests

From CNN’s Ben Tinker

Dr. Tom Frieden on February 14.
Dr. Tom Frieden on February 14. CNN

Asked by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria about falling coronavirus case and death rates in the United States, Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said, “I don’t think, Fareed, the vaccine is having much of an impact at all on case rates. It’s what we’re doing right: staying apart, wearing masks, not traveling, not mixing with others indoors.”

“Basically, we’re getting over a huge surge around the late-year holidays, starting with Thanksgiving and on to the December holidays. This, essentially, was an accelerator for the virus. And now cases are plummeting. They’re coming down, followed by decreasing hospitalization, followed by decreasing deaths. But they’re still high. Our case numbers are still higher than they were at higher peaks,” Frieden said on “Fareed Zakaria GPS.”

Data compiled by Johns Hopkins University indicates the 7-day moving average of daily confirmed new cases in the US is now just below 100,000 – down from a peak of about 250,000 in early January. Previous peaks, in April and July, were around 30,000 and 65,000, respectively. The last time the 7-day moving average of daily confirmed new cases in the US was below 100,000 was in October.

“So we’re nowhere near out of the woods,” Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, said. “And really, Fareed, we’ve had three surges. Whether or not we have a fourth surge is up to us, and the stakes couldn’t be higher – not only in the number of people who could die in the fourth surge, but also in the risk that even more dangerous variants will emerge if there’s more uncontrolled spread.”