VIRUS TODAY: Colorado stories first US case of virus variant

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Colorado has recorded the primary reported U.S. case of the coronavirus variant that has been seen in the UK, triggering a number of questions on how the brand new model confirmed up within the Rocky Mountain state

Right here’s what’s occurring Wednesday with the pandemic within the U.S.:

THREE THINGS TO KNOW TODAY

— A brand new variant of the coronavirus that could be extra contagious has been present in a Colorado man who had not been touring. That has triggered a number of questions on how the first reported U.S. case of the brand new model confirmed up within the Rocky Mountain state. The brand new variant was first recognized in England, and infections are hovering now in Britain. The brand new variant has additionally been present in a number of different nations. Consultants say the vaccines being given now are regarded as efficient towards it.

— Louisiana’s latest Republican member of the U.S. Home, Luke Letlow, died from issues associated to COVID-19 solely days earlier than he would have been sworn into workplace. He was 41. Letlow was elected in a December runoff and was set to take workplace in January. He was admitted to a Monroe hospital after testing constructive for COVID-19. He was later transferred to Ochsner-LSU Well being Shreveport and positioned in intensive care, the place he died.

— Individuals who have misplaced family members to COVID-19 are discovering consolation within the act of remembering, whether or not it’s cradling an merchandise their beloved one left behind, vowing to satisfy a promise they might have blessed, or imagining them in higher days. During the last 12 months, Related Press journalists profiled dozens of strange individuals around the globe who died from the coronavirus. Because the turbulent 12 months involves a detailed, the AP revisited the households and pals of 10 of these misplaced to see how they’re coping.

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THE NUMBERS: The seven-day rolling common for each day new deaths within the U.S. decreased within the final two weeks from 2,496.9 on December 15 to 2,256.6 on December 29, based on knowledge from Johns Hopkins College.

DEATH TOLL: The variety of COVID-19-related deaths within the U.S. stands at greater than 338,000.

QUOTABLE: “I’m going to have fun that I’m alive, however I’m not exactly too completely happy for this 12 months,” mentioned Cesar Soltero, a 36-year-old Florida engineer who visited Instances Sq. this week forward of New 12 months’s Day.

ICYMI: President-elect Joe Biden criticized the Trump administration for the tempo of distributing COVID-19 vaccines, saying it’s “falling far behind.” Biden mentioned “it’s gonna take years, not months, to vaccinate the American individuals” on the present tempo. He vowed to ramp up the present velocity of vaccinations 5 to 6 occasions to 1 million pictures a day, noting it may nonetheless take months to vaccinate the American individuals.

ON THE HORIZON: If ever a 12 months’s finish appeared like trigger for celebration, 2020 may be it. But the coronavirus scourge that dominated the 12 months can also be looming over New 12 months’s festivities and forcing officers worldwide to tone them down. From New York’s Instances Sq. to Sydney Harbor, the pandemic is popping huge public blowouts into TV-only reveals and digital occasions.

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Discover AP’s full protection of the coronavirus pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

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