A worker sanitizes areas at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Livingston, N.J., on Monday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 12 (UPI) -- New COVID-19 cases and deaths in the United States both declined slightly on Monday, but the day's national case count remained above 200,000 for the seventh day in a row.
According to updated data Tuesday from Johns Hopkins University, there were 204,700 new cases and a little more than 1,700 coronavirus deaths.
Of the 11 days in January so far, the daily case figure has exceeded 200,000 in 10 of them.
Health experts say the persistent infection levels this month are due partly to some Americans ignoring advice against travel and attending large family gatherings during the holiday season last month.
Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 22.62 million coronavirus cases and about 376,300 related deaths in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins. More than 30,000 have died so far in 2021.
There are presently about 130,000 coronavirus patients in U.S. hospitals, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says nearly 9 million people in the United States have received an initial dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. By Monday, about 25 million doses had been distributed to hospitals and healthcare centers.
Presently, the highest transmission rates are being seen in Massachusetts and Arizona, according to the Brown School of Medicine. Each day, both states are averaging more than 120 new cases per 100,000 residents.
Massachusetts set daily case records twice last week and hospitalizations in Arizona are at a record level, according to government data.
In Alabama, experts are concerned about new transmission after University of Alabama fans celebrated in the streets on Monday night after the Crimson Tide won the national championship.
Hundreds of fans, many of them not masked, gathered in Tuscaloosa's bar district after the game -- even though Alabama is averaging about 4,300 new cases per day.
The state's transmission rate, 87 per 100,000 residents, is one of the highest in the United States.
The Trump administration was expected to unveil new guidelines Tuesday to speed up vaccinations.
The CDC will recommend vaccines for everyone 65 or older and dismiss its policy of holding some doses back, Axios and Bloomberg reported -- a strategy supported by President-elect Joe Biden.
Under the updated policy, the CDC will reportedly encourage states to expand access to vaccines to those 65 and older, regardless of underlying conditions, and anyone 16 and older with a pre-existing condition.
Two vaccines, developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, have been approved for use in the United States so far. A third, from AstraZeneca, is expected to be approved in the near future.
Other COVID-19 updates Tuesday:
- Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington state has tested positive for COVID-19. She huddled in the U.S. Capitol last week with other lawmakers when the building came under attack from radical supporters of President Donald Trump, and chastised GOP colleagues who "recklessly refused to wear masks."
- A judge has stayed Tuesday's planned execution of Lisa Montgomery, who would be the first female executed by the federal government in almost 70 years. Her execution was previously delayed from December when her attorneys tested positive for COVID-19.