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Coronavirus deaths hit another daily high in US

USA. In this January 7, 2021, file photo, registered nurses Kyanna Barboza (right) tends to a Covid-19 patient as Kobie Walsh puts on her PPE at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California. (AP)

HERE'S what’s happening Wednesday with the coronavirus pandemic in the US:

Three things to know today

* Coronavirus deaths in the US hit another one-day high at over 4,300 with the country’s attention focused largely on the fallout from the deadly uprising at the Capitol. The nation’s overall death toll from Covid-19 has eclipsed 380,000, according to Johns Hopkins University, and is closing in fast on the number of Americans killed in World War II, or about 407,000. Confirmed infections have topped 22.8 million. Arizona and California have been among the hardest-hit states. The country is now in the most lethal phase of the outbreak yet, even as vaccines are being rolled out.

* State leaders around the US are increasingly pushing for schools to reopen this winter — pressuring them, even — as teachers begin to gain access to vaccines against the raging pandemic. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine offered to give vaccinations to teachers at the start of February, provided their school systems agree to resume at least some in-person instruction by March 1. And Arizona’s governor warned schools that he expects students back in the classroom despite objections from top education officials and the highest Covid-19 diagnosis rate in the nation over the past week.

* An ongoing study suggests that older American adults are showing resilience and perseverance despite struggles with loneliness and isolation during the pandemic. That’s according to the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project, conducted by the social research organization NORC at the University of Chicago. It’s part of a longer-term study designed to track the physical and emotional well-being of a group of older Americans over time. Only nine percent of older adults reported having “fair or poor overall mental health” during the pandemic. Nevertheless, the study found that general happiness has declined and an increasing number report occasional feelings of depression or isolation.

THE NUMBERS: The US is averaging about 249,000 new cases per day, and about 3,300 deaths. The death toll in the US since the start of the pandemic now stands at more than 381,000. (AP)


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