Texas, California see large drop in COVID-19 cases

COVID-19 mass vaccine clinic in Iowa
COVID-19 mass vaccine clinic in Iowa

Phil Roeder / Flickr cc

Texas and California, two of the states hardest hit by COVID-19 since Thanksgiving, have reached new milestones indicating that the spread of infections is slowing.

The number of new daily coronavirus cases in California fell to just over 10,000 yesterday, down from 50,000 a month ago, according to KQED. Gov. Gavin Newsom also reported a 25% decline in COVID-19 patients in intensive care units.

"Everything that should be up is up, and everything that should be down is down," Newsom said during remarks given yesterday at San Diego Petco Park, which will be the state's first mass vaccine "super station."

In Texas, for the first time since Dec 20, fewer than 10,000 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, the Texas Tribune reports. Currently 9,401 Texans are hospitalized for the coronavirus.

And in another sign that a former hot spot is recovering, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that, beginning on Feb 12, New York City could resume indoor dining with restaurants at 25% capacity.

"We're in a footrace with COVID, and the footrace is clear—it's rate of vaccination versus rate of infection, and we're continuing to make progress on both fronts," Cuomo said.

Vaccinations reach 10% in 10 states

The footrace to vaccinate Americans continues across the country. So far, 10 states have vaccinated more than 10% of their residents with at least one shot, and 19 states are about to hit that goal, according to a new Wall Street Journal analysis. Alaska leads the country, with 15.0% of its residents vaccinated, followed by West Virginia (12.2%) and New Mexico (12.0%).

To that end, the Biden administration announced today it would be boosting the weekly vaccine supply distributed to states to 11 million, up from 10 million pledged last week. The increase will last at least 3 weeks, COVID-19 czar Jeff Zients said during a press briefing today.

The CDC COVID Data tracker shows 59,307,800 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been distributed in the US, and 42,417,617 doses have been administered. That translates to 9.9% of Americans who have received a first dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, according to a New York Times tracker.

Yesterday the United States reported 86,646 new COVID-19 cases, including1,465 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 tracker. In total, the US has by far the highest COVID-19 numbers in the world, with 27,155,895 confirmed cases and 466,828 deaths.

Worry about vaccine side effects

Side effects are the number one concern most Americans have about getting a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation survey today.

Thirty-six percent of US adults, including 47% of black adults and 47% of Hispanic adults, explicitly mentioned general side effects, long-term side effects, allergic reactions, or feeling ill after receiving the vaccine as their main concern.

Side effects are also names by 55% of poll respondents who say they want to "wait and see" before getting vaccinated.

Vaccine misinformation, death of congressman

  • Facebook is widening its ban on COVID-19 vaccine misinformation and highlighting official information about how and where to get vaccines, NPR reports.

  • Texas Congressman Ron Wright died 2 days ago after testing positive for COVID-19 late last month, according to The Hill. He is the first sitting member of congress to die from COVID-19.

  • According to the Associated Press (AP), Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds lifted the state's mask mandate and limits on indoor gatherings on Feb 5 without consulting local health officials. Iowa had distributed at least one COVID vaccine dose to 7,529 people per 100,000, a rate of 7.5% of the population, the lowest in the nation, the AP reported.

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