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June 19, 2021
Whitmer responds to Atlas suggestion that Michigan should 'rise up'

What you need to know about coronavirus on Tuesday, January 5

LA County’s hospitals are full because of the latest Covid-19 surge. As of Monday, the county of 10 million people had just 17 available adult ICU beds, according to official data.

LA County supervisor Hilda Solis called the situation “a human disaster” and said “our health care workers are physically and mentally exhausted and sick.”

The crisis is the result of holiday gatherings and travel, according to county public health director Barbara Ferrer, who said one person is now dying from the virus every 15 minutes in LA County — and warned that increases in cases look set to to continue for weeks to come. “We’re likely to experience the worst conditions in January that we’ve faced the entire pandemic, and that’s hard to imagine,” she said.

And the vaccination rollout is happening a lot more slowly than officials had hoped it would About 15.4 million vaccine doses have been distributed in the US, but only 4.5 million people have received their first doses, as opposed to the 20 million officials originally promised would be vaccinated by the end of the year.
Moncef Slaoui, the chief advisor for Operation Warp Speed, told CNN yesterday the 20 million target “was our hope.” Slaoui said 500,000 doses a day had been administered for the last three days, adding that now, with “the holiday period … behind us, I am optimistic this number [is] going to go up.”

YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED

Q: What is a Covid-19 bubble?

A: Social distancing bubbles can help you stay safe — and sane — by allowing you to see other human beings in person. But they only work if everyone follows the same strict rules:

Keep your bubble as small as possible. Ideally, it should only include members of your household or just a couple of friends from outside your household.

Don’t socialize with anyone outside your bubble — especially not indoors.

Wear a mask around anyone outside your bubble if you’re outdoors.

Read more about social bubbles here.
Send your questions here. Are you a health care worker fighting Covid-19? Message us on WhatsApp about the challenges you’re facing: +1 347-322-0415.

WHAT’S IMPORTANT TODAY

Europe kicks off 2021 by extending lockdowns

A number of European governments are locking down residents amid a struggle to curb rising infections and worries about the impact the new, potentially more contagious, coronavirus variant may have.
UK prime minister Boris Johnson announced a strict national lockdown in England on Monday, just hours after Scotland took the same step. Wales and Northern Ireland — the other two nations of the UK — were already in lockdown.

Italy’s government announced Tuesday that most of the coronavirus restrictions imposed over the Christmas break will be extended until January 15, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel is meeting the 16 premiers of the country’s federal states today to discuss a possible extension to the current lockdown

China points to auto parts packaging in its search for forreign coronavirus sources

There’s still a lot we don’t know about the pandemic, but one thing is certain: The first major outbreak was in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. China has moved past its initial mishandling of the virus, but the stain of being the place where the pandemic emerged remains.

In recent months, Chinese state media and officials have begun hyping up reports of potential other sources of the virus.

As James Griffiths reports, the latest theory came to light yesterday when stories circulated on Chinese social media that the virus had been detected on packaging for auto parts in multiple cities, including from foreign brands. By the afternoon, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention had stepped in to tell state media the auto parts in question were not imported, and whatever traces of the virus were detected were unlikely to be infectious.

We’re entering year two of the pandemic. Here’s what happens next

The next few months will likely be dark and painful. But there’s a promise of light at the end of the tunnel. With two vaccines approved in the US and more on the way, there’s hope of a gradual return to normalcy — whatever that looks like in a post-pandemic world. Faith Karimi looks at what’s to come.

ON OUR RADAR

  • Record-breaking sumo wrestler Sho Hakuho has tested positive for Covid-19. Infections have soared in Japan in recent weeks.
  • New York’s governor wants to make it a crime to sell or administer Covid-19 vaccines to people trying to skip the line.
  • A drunk passenger in a taxi refused to wear a face mask — so the driver took him to the police station.
  • A cluster of islands in the Pacific Ocean is one of the few places on Earth entirely free from Covid-19. It could now become one of the first countries vaccinated against the disease.
  • Mexico’s Covid-19 czar, known for urging people to stay home, has sparked an outcry after he was photographed at an oceanfront restaurant.
  • A Wisconsin pharmacist arrested last week after allegedly removing vials of the Covid-19 vaccine from cold storage is a conspiracy theorist who believes the vaccine could harm people, police say.

TOP TIP

Wearing a mask not only protects others from your expelled respiratory droplets, it protects you as well, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But what type of mask will offer you, and those around you, the best protection?

Do not buy N95 masks for your personal use, the CDC says. While those are the most effective, they are considered critical supplies and must continue to be reserved for health care workers and other medical first responders.

Instead, use cloth masks with high thread counts. Look for a tight weave of 100% cotton and use the light test to check the weave: If you can easily see the outline of the individual fibers when you hold up the mask to the light, it’s not likely to be effective.

You want as many layers as possible without sacrificing breathability — if you can’t breathe through it, you won’t keep the mask on your face. Two- and three-layer masks appear to do the trick for most people.

TODAY’S PODCAST

“All I could imagine was, oh my gosh, are we going to have to go to a shelter with my daughter?” — Jordan Mills

By the end of the month, millions of people across the country will be teetering on the brink of eviction. In this episode, CNN Business reporter Anna Bahney tells the story of a young family who started 2020 ready to buy their dream home — and ended the year being evicted from it. Listen now.