Five states account for 44% of US Covid-19 cases this week
From CNN’s Deidre McPhillips
In the past week, five states have accounted for about 44% of new Covid-19 cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
New York, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey reported nearly 198,000 new Covid-19 cases over the past seven days. There were about 453,000 new cases in the country.
But those five states are home to just 22% of the US population, according to estimates from the US Census Bureau.
Michigan had the highest per capita case rate over the past week, with about 471 new cases reported per 100,000 residents, followed by New Jersey with about 335 new cases reported per 100,000 residents. Nationwide, there were about 137 new cases per 100,000 people reported over the past seven days.
7:15 p.m. ET, April 6, 2021
Hawaii still reviewing Biden's April 19 deadline to open Covid vaccine eligibility to all adults
From CNNh’s Ashley Ahn
The Hawaii State Department of Health is currently determining when the state can open Covid-19 vaccine eligibility to people 16 and older, but has not yet committed to President Biden's new deadline of April 19.
Janice Okubo, communications director of the Hawaii State Department of Health, told CNN Tuesday that Hawaii plans to open vaccines to all adults before May 1 but has not decided on a specific date yet.
“We’re still reviewing and making a determination," Okubo told CNN. "Certainly we would like to open (vaccine eligibility) as quickly as we can but it’s going to be based on our population, the amount of vaccine we are able to receive, and the amount of people in our priority groups that are able to get vaccinated.”
She added that three of the four major counties in Hawaii — Maui, Kalai, and Hawaii —opened vaccination to all adults last week. Honolulu County remains the only county that has not expanded vaccine eligibility to all adults. The fifth county, Kalawao, has only a few dozen residents cared for under special health provisions after receiving treatment for Hansen’s disease.
Biden announced Tuesday that he is moving up the deadline for states to expand eligibility to all adults by almost two weeks, from his original deadline of May 1.
Nebraska, New Mexico, and South Dakota opened vaccines to all adults on April 5, while New Jersey and Oregon will expand eligibility to all adults by April 19.
6:45 p.m. ET, April 6, 2021
Argentina records highest number of daily coronavirus cases since the pandemic started
From CNN’s Tatiana Arias
Argentina on Tuesday reported its highest daily count of new Covid-19 cases since the pandemic started, according to data from the health ministry.
The country reported at least 20,870 new cases of Covid-19 in a single day, raising the total number of confirmed cases to at least 2,428,029, official data showed.
Additionally, the country reported at least 163 new Covid-19-related fatalities, bringing the country’s death toll to 56,634.
Over the past week, Argentina saw a rise in Covid-19 cases following a long holiday weekend where internal tourism without Covid-19 restrictions was permitted. During the holy week holiday, people were allowed to travel freely without requiring a negative PCR test or mandatory quarantine time.
There is a “sustained and accelerated increase in [Covid-19] cases, where the second wave is already a fact,” Argentina’s health minister Carla Vizzotti said during a news conference Tuesday.
“Over the past three weeks, from one week to the next, the cases increased first by 5%, then by 11% and in the last week the increase in cases was greater than 30%. Even in some regions such as the Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires, the increase in cases was greater than 40% in a single week,” Argentina’s national director of epidemiology and strategic information, Analia Rearte, said during Tuesday’s news conference, according to a statement from the health ministry.
Additionally, health authorities informed that the number of regions reporting a “high epidemiological risk” went from 48 a week ago to 85 this week, and that the number of people at risk went from 12 million to 25 million.
6:29 p.m. ET, April 6, 2021
Brazil records its deadliest day of the pandemic so far
From Marcia Reverdosa and Tatiana Arias
Brazil recorded its deadliest day of the pandemic so far by reporting more than 4,000 deaths in a single day, health ministry data shows.
On Tuesday, Brazil reported at least 4,195 new Covid-19 deaths over the past 24 hours —the first time the country had an increase in deaths above the 4,000 figure, according to official data. The latest figures bring the country’s death toll to at least 336,947.
Additionally, at least 86,979 new Covid-19 cases were reported across the country, raising the tally of cases to at least 13,100,580, according to the health ministry.
Some context: Global Covid-19 cases have risen for the sixth consecutive week, according to the World Health Organization’s Weekly Epidemiological Update on Tuesday.
Brazil, along with the US, Turkey and France followed India in the highest number of new Covid-19 cases reported globally.
6:09 p.m. ET, April 6, 2021
Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte and his wife test positive for Covid-19
From CNN’s Jennifer Henderson and Chris Boyette
Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday after exhibiting mild symptoms on Sunday, according to a release from his office.
Gianforte will be isolating for 10 days per his doctor’s instructions and public health guidance, the release said.
All in-person events have been canceled and Gianforte will continue to work from his home, the release added.
His wife, Susan Gianforte, also received a positive Covid-19 test result Tuesday, according to the governor’s press secretary Brooke Stroyke.
She was tested Monday, but has exhibited no symptoms, Stroyke said
This post has been updated to include new details about Susan Gianforte's positive Covid-19 test result.
5:45 p.m. ET, April 6, 2021
FDA authorizes new Covid-19 self-collected antibody test system
From CNN's Naomi Thomas
The US Food and Drug Administration said it has issued emergency use authorization for the Symbiotica Covid-19 Self-Collected Antibody Test System.
The test system lets people know if they have been infected in the past with coronavirus.
It is the first to use home collected dried blood spot samples, which are then sent to a Symbiotica, Inc. laboratory to be analyzed.
“The authorization of the first prescription use, home collection antibody test will play an important role in helping health care professionals identify individuals who have developed an adaptive immune response from a recent or prior Covid-19 infection,” Dr. Jeff Shuren, director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in a statement Tuesday.
The test should not be used to diagnose or exclude acute SARS-CoV-2 infection, the FDA said.
The Covid-19 Self-Collected Antibody Test System has been authorized for prescription use with a fingerstick dried blood sample, either self-collected by people age 18 and up or collected by an adult for children ages 5 and up.
The performance of the test has not been established in people who have received a Covid-19 vaccine, the EUA says.
“The clinical significance of a positive or negative antibody result following Covid-19 vaccination has not been established, and the results from this assay should not be interpreted as an indication or degree of protection from infection after vaccination,” it says.
5:17 p.m. ET, April 6, 2021
India administers more than 4.3 million Covid-19 vaccine doses in a day
From CNN's Sugam Pokharel and Esha Mitra
India administered more than 4.3 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines in the last 24 hours — the country's highest one-day total so far, its health ministry said in a statement Tuesday.
The country has so far administered 83.1 million coronavirus vaccine shots in the country with the first doses contributing to nearly 87% of the total inoculations, the ministry data showed.
India's record vaccinations come as a second wave of coronavirus is spreading through the country, with more than 90,000 new cases reported daily over the last three days, similar to the case load India experienced in the peak of its first wave in September last year.
Eleven out of the country's total 28 states and nine union territories constitute for over 80% of the new Covid-19 cases, Indian Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters, the minister announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday will hold a joint virtual meeting with all the chief ministers of Indian states and territories to review and discuss the Covid-19 situation in the country.
Meanwhile, a night curfew will go into effect starting on Wednesday in 20 cities in the Western Indian state of Gujarat to curb a fresh surge in new Covid-19 cases, the state's Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced at a news conference Tuesday.
Earlier today, India’s union territory of Delhi, of which the nation’s capital New Delhi is a part of, also announced a night curfew with immediate effect.
5:15 p.m. ET, April 6, 2021
Biden makes direct appeal to seniors: "Get vaccinated now"
From CNN's Jason Hoffman
President Biden made a direct appeal to senior citizens across the country, urging them to get vaccinated now before eligibility expands to all adults on April 19.
“My message today is a simple one. Many states have already opened up to all adults, but beginning April 19th, every adult in every state, every adult in this country, is eligible to get in line to get a Covid vaccination. And today, in advance of that new national full eligibility date, I want to make a direct appeal to our seniors and everyone who cares about them,” Biden said during remarks at the White House on Tuesday.
“It's simple, seniors, it's time for you to get vaccinated now. Get vaccinated now,” he said.
The President urged those younger than 65 to help seniors schedule and get their vaccines as soon as possible.
“If you know someone over 65 who has not gotten this life-saving vaccine, call them now. Work with them to get their shots this week or next. Pick them up, drive them. It can be your parents, your grandparents, your aunt, uncle, your neighbors,” he said.
Biden added that his administration will send aid to community groups to help drive seniors to vaccination sites.
“We know that there are number of seniors and people with disabilities and people in many communities of color who may be isolated and lack access to transportation. That's why we're ramping up transportation to vaccination centers and deploying more mobile units and pop-up clinics in the places close to where people live,” Biden said.
5:15 p.m. ET, April 6, 2021
Biden hopes to share excess Covid-19 vaccine doses with other countries before "summer is over"
From CNN's Kevin Lipak
President Biden offered the first rough administration timeline for sharing excess vaccine doses with countries who have been clamoring for shots, saying Tuesday he is eyeing the end of summer as a time when the US can begin shipping some of its surplus.
"My hope is before the summer is over, I'm talking to you all about how we have even access to more vaccines than we need to take care of every American, and we're helping other poor countries, countries around the world that don't have the money, the time, the expertise," Biden said at the White House.
"Until this vaccine is available to the world and we're beating back the virus in other countries we're not really completely safe," he said.
Until now, it has been unclear when Biden might agree to release some of the extra doses the US has purchased to countries who have been pleading with him to ship them.
The White House has been wary of the political fallout that might come along with shipping doses abroad before all Americans can easily get shots. Public polling has shown wide majorities of Americans say the US should provide shots to all Americans, even if developing nations must wait.
Administration health experts have also warned that keeping a stockpile might be necessary in case boosters are needed and as it remains to be seen which vaccine works best in children.
At the same time, however, allies have been pressuring the Biden administration for access to US-purchased vaccines as availability dwindles on the global market.
Biden himself has been confronted in telephone calls and virtual meetings by his foreign counterparts who have pressed him on why the US is purchasing so much more vaccine than it would appear to need, according to people familiar with the conversations.
State Department officials have also been fielding near-daily requests from other countries for vaccines, according to diplomats, whose answer has largely been the same: no shipments until the US is taken care of.