Coronavirus vaccine and COVID variant updates for 01-31-2022

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It’s just one city, but it’s a big one. The number of new cases in New York has fallen by more than half in a week according to the Governor’s office. The statewide positivity rate dropped to 5.73% Friday. Hospitalizations dropped from over 10,000 a week ago to 7,675 Friday.


Russia's in the news a lot these days, but not for COVID. Regardless, their daily count of new infections surged to more than 121,000 yesterday. That’s an eightfold increase from the beginning of the month. The number of new infections over the past 24 hours was at an all-time high. And Russia’s total fatality count is by far the largest in Europe.


A statement out of the Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization has modified its stand that bans on international travel are effective. Now they don’t think they provide any added value and only contribute to countries’ economic and social stress. It recommends not requiring proof of vaccination for international travel, if for no other reason due to the inequitable distribution of vaccines.


The CDC, however, continues to be blind to the failure of travel bans and released yet more countries they warn Americans not to travel to. The list includes such popular destinations as Jamaica, St. Barts, St. Martin, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Fiji, Peru, and the UAE. The US has far more new cases per capita than many of these countries, which challenges the logic of the guidance, yet it is consistent with a hyperfocus on shutting down the travel and hospitality industry.


Time for the “just don’t do this” story of the week. Owners of a Washington state bar held a “catch the virus” promotion. Employees quit, bands cancelled, and bar then tried to say it was all just a bad joke. Regardless, there were threats to burn down the pirate-themed bar, oddly in keeping with the theme, so one employee was held responsible and has been fired.


In the United States, cases were down 33%, deaths are up 29%, and hospitalizations are down 5% over 14 days. The 7-day average of new cases has been trending down since January 14.


The five states that had the most daily deaths per 100,000 are Ohio, Arizona, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Indiana.


There are 28,732,901 active cases in the United States.


The five areas with the greatest increase in hospitalizations per capita: Alaska 76%. Wyoming 74%. Montana 67%. Idaho 55%. And Arkansas 44%.


The top 10 areas with the highest number of recent cases per capita according to The New York Times: Nome Census Area, AK. Whitman, WA. Franklin, WA. Pontotoc, OK. Santa Cruz, AZ. Crawford, IL. Murray, OK. Randolph, IL. Hopkins, KY. And Kings, CA.


There have been at least 884,260 deaths in the U.S. recorded as Covid-related.


The top 3 vaccinating states by percentage of population that’s been fully vaccinated: Vermont at 79.3%, Rhode Island at 78.9%, and Maine at 77.5%. The bottom 3 vaccinating states are Alabama at 49.4%, Wyoming at 49.8%, and Mississippi at 50%. The percentage of the U.S. that’s been fully vaccinated is 63.6%.


Globally, cases were up 13% and deaths up 29% over 14 days, with the 7-day average trending down since January 25.


There are now over 73 million active cases around the world, at 73,081,557.


The five countries with the most new cases: France 249,448. India 173,162. Russia 121,228. Germany 109,029. And Italy 104,065.


There have been 5,662,721 deaths reported as Covid-related worldwide.


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