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New U.S. COVID-19 cases under 200K; deaths down for 4th straight day

By
Don Jacobson
A man receives a temperature check on Sunday during holiday shopping at the Glendale Galleria in Glendale, Calif. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
A man receives a temperature check on Sunday during holiday shopping at the Glendale Galleria in Glendale, Calif. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Updated data from Johns Hopkins University on Monday shows that the United States has seen a second straight day of fewer than 200,000 COVID-19 cases, and four straight days of declining deaths.

Data from the university shows 189,100 new coronavirus cases for Sunday and about 1,500 deaths nationwide.

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The decline in cases followed a record high of 249,700 on Friday.

Deaths nationally have been in decline for four days since a record of almost 3,700 patients died last Wednesday.

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Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 17.86 million cases and about 317,800 deaths nationwide.

Figures show that hospitalizations in the United States are leveling off.

After setting records every day for weeks, hospitalizations reached a peak of 114,500 on Thursday and have since hovered around 113,500, according to the COVID Tracking Project. The number of patients in intensive care is a little under 22,000.

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The United States not yet decided whether to join a growing list of nations in restricting travel to Britain due to a contagious variant of COVID-19, an administration official said Monday.

Assistant Secretary for Health Adm. Brett Giroir told CNN no official step has been taken on the possibility of following Canada, France and Germany in banning travel to Britain.

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Giroir said the Trump administration is waiting for recommendations from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield on the matter.

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"We have a [White House Coronavirus] Task Force meeting today so we'll make sure that everyone has updates, but as of now I have no new updates based on that," he said Monday.

In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that the state's stay-at-home order is likely to be extended, specifically citing the Dec. 28 end date in the San Joaquin region and the Dec. 30 date in Southern California as areas that could see increased time.

"Based on the current trend lines, we'll need to extend that stay-at-home order," he said.

Newsom has re-entered quarantine after one of his staff members tested positive for COVID-19. He tested negative Sunday but said he will do a 10-day quarantine as required by state guidelines.

The governor went into quarantine last month after contact with a California Highway Patrol officer who'd tested positive.

In other COVID-19 developments Monday:

  • Congress is expected to vote on a $900 billion coronavirus relief bill that was reached over the weekend. It includes new stimulus payments to most Americans and enhanced unemployment payments.
  • President-elect Joe Biden will receive Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine during a live event to build public confidence in two coronavirus vaccines that have now been approved in the United States.
  • A new survey shows nearly three-quarters of parents are concerned with their children overusing social media during the pandemic.
  • A new study shows that coronavirus infection among people who underwent surgery for head and neck cancer was quite low -- indicating that interrupting or postponing treatments, particularly in life-threatening illnesses, is not necessary during the pandemic.


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