Novak Djokovic allowed in Australia; AOC tests positive: COVID updates

January 10, 2022
United States is now averaging more than 700K new COVID cases per day


Just 10 days in 2022, more than a third of U.S. counties have set COVID-19 case records, a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows.

So far this year, about 1,350 counties reported their highest weekly counts of cases since the pandemic began.

The analysis suggests every county in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey broke a record. Of New York’s 62 counties, only one didn’t set a record — Tompkins County peaked in mid-December, after an outbreak at Cornell University. Meanwhile, every county in Hawaii set a record this year except for Kalawao County, a community with just 82 reported residents.

The national daily average of COVID-19 cases increased to about 709,000 with Sunday’s report of about 307,000 cases, which was far lower than recent days. The country is now reporting about 8.2 cases per second.

The world has been setting records for two weeks now and is averaging 28 reported cases per second,and the surging number of cases is burdening hospitals.

Meanwhile, Americans are struggling to get tested. At-home kits can be hard to come by, the Federal Trade Commission has warned scammers are trying to profit off fake rapid tests, and some regions are limiting who can use community testing sites. 

Also in the news: 

►U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, announced in tweet Sunday evening that she tested positive with a breakthrough case of COVID-19. She is experiencing symptoms and recovering at home, and she had received her booster shot in the fall. 

►An Australian judge has reinstated tennis star Novak Djokovic’s visa, which was canceled last week because he is unvaccinated. Circuit Court Judge Anthony Kelly also ordered the government on Monday to release Djokovic, who sought to play in the Australian Open this year, from Melbourne hotel quarantine within 30 minutes of his decision.

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has recorded more than 59 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 837,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Global totals: More than 306 million cases and 5.48 million deaths. More than 207 million Americans — 62.5% — are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC

📘What we’re reading: Confused by all the COVID-19 home tests? A new report says these tests are easiest to use.

Keep refreshing this page for the latest news. Want more? Sign up for USA TODAY’s free Coronavirus Watch newsletter to receive updates directly to your inbox and join our Facebook group.

Chicago Public Schools closed again Monday as teachers union, city continue fighting over safety measures 

Students in the nation’s third-largest school system are out of school for a fourth straight day Monday as Chicago’s leaders spar with the teachers union over a question that has plagued communities since early 2020: Are schools safe to operate in person? 

The union says no; city and district leaders say yes. Kids and families have been stuck in the middle since Wednesday, when teachers voted to go remote after two days of in-person instruction. Then the city said that wasn’t an option, and cut off remote schooling all together. Negotiations continued over the weekend, but the two sides failed to reach an agreement. 

Education experts have increasingly cautioned the time for districtwide shutdowns has passed and that kids need to be in school. But large systems in Newark, Milwaukee and Detroit nonetheless shifted to remote-only instruction through this week as COVID-19 infections rose and staff shortages mounted. Read more here. 

— Erin Richards and Grace Hauck, USA TODAY

California governor seeks $2.7B in emergency funding to battle omicron

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration said Saturday it was asking the state Legislature for $2.7 billion in emergency funding to fight the surge in COVID-19 cases tied to the omicron variant.

The request comes a day after Newsom activated 200 California National Guard members to help bolster testing facilities. Additional Guard members are expected to be deployed next week. 

“From day one, California has taken swift and direct action to battle COVID-19 with policies that have saved tens of thousands of lives, but there’s more work to be done,” said Newsom.

Administration officials said that the state had 2,700 new COVID-19 hospital admissions Friday, bringing the overall number of virus admissions to about 10,000.

The funds will also be used to fight misinformation officials believe is to blame for some Californians’ refusal to be vaccinated. Part of that effort, officials said, is to continue to fund community outreach programs in partnership with ethnic media outlets, canvassing and phone banking.

— Christopher Damien, Palm Springs Desert Sun


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