Global Covid-19 caseload top 88.8mn: Johns Hopkins

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The country has seen a total of 365,000 deaths linked to the coronavirus so far, according to data from Johns Hopkins university, out of a population of 330 million people.

The goal ultimately is to vaccinate hundreds of millions in the US, though health care workers and nursing home residents are getting priority in most places for now.

In Los Angeles County at the Henry Mayo New Hall in Valencia, nurse Nerissa Black says her hospital is overwhelmed with patients, comparing the situation to NY at the beginning of the pandemic. State officials said it will be capable of vaccinating thousands of people each day.

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This week, California is the state with the most new cases per 100,000 population, followed by Arizona, Kansas, Tennessee, Rhode Island, Utah, Arkansas, West Virginia, Georgia, and MA in the top 10. OR plans to dispense thousands of shots at the state fairgrounds in Salem this weekend with help from the National Guard.

Vaccines are increasingly becoming a contention point between medical professionals and political leaders, as slow rollout among many states is seeing millions of doses go unused.

The lethal surge is being driven in large part by Sun Belt states. Those four states had a combined almost 1,500 deaths and 80,000 cases on Thursday - figures that were comparable to nationwide totals in October. Many nurses already stretched thin are now caring for more patients than typically allowed under state law after the state began issuing waivers that allow hospitals to temporarily bypass a strict nurse-to-patient ratio law. "But I have seen nothing on increased transmission", said Michael Worobey, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Arizona who discovered that variant. "We're probably two weeks behind L.A.in terms of our situation", Will Humble, head of the Arizona Public Health Association, told the Associated Press. In Los Angeles County, where emergency services crews have been instructed to ration oxygen supply and avoid bringing patients with low chance of survival to the hospital, has reported that a person is dying every 8 minutes due to COVID-19. "And that's pretty much the norm", said Caroline Brandenburger.

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Coronaviruses mutate regularly, acquiring about one new mutation in their genome every two weeks. England is now under a national lockdown, with hospitals overwhelmed by patients and medical personnel under unprecedented strain. The 439-bed hospital normally averages 350 patients, but that is now up to 450.

The outbreak has taken another turn for the worse in Arizona, with the state now leading the nation with the highest COVID-19 diagnosis rate over the past week.

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