Covid-19 In Brief

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. has almost 23 million confirmed cases and 383,351 deaths, the highest worldwide as of January 14 at 10:00 p.m. EST.


The unemployment rate dropped to 6.7% in December from 7.9% in September of 2020. Even with the ongoing vaccinations, the percentage is nearly twice as much as the pre-pandemic rate of 3.5% in February. In December alone, the U.S. lost 140,000 jobs, and by January 2021, the country had lost 10 million jobs since the start of the pandemic.


On January 6, scores of Trump supporters invaded the U.S. Capitol and rioted against alleged voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield referred to the riot as a “surge event” while other health experts called it a “textbook potential superspreader” of the virus.


As vaccine distributions are underway, President-elect Joe Biden aims to prioritize total shots administered, departing from the original Operation Warp Speed plan “to hold back enough to make sure everyone who gets a first vaccination gets a second dose in the FDA’s recommended time frame.” However, mutated versions of Covid-19 pose potential threats to the developing vaccines. Scientists from the University of Texas Medical Branch discovered that Pfizer’s vaccine does not protect against a mutated version of the virus, known as N501Y, which helps the virus attach to human cells. 


Florida reached a peak for the number of new pediatric cases for the under-18 age group as students return to school after the winter break. According to Dr. Jason Salemi, a University of South Florida epidemiologist, the state averaged roughly 1,500 new Covid-19 cases per day during the first week back to school. In California, a state with over 2.6 million confirmed cases, one in three students tested positive in some Los Angeles neighborhoods as of January 7. Consequently, many Californian school districts have pushed for January shutdowns, clashing with Governor Gavin Newsom’s plan to reopen schools with financial help and increased budgets.

Mass. Covid-19 Updates

According to Worldometers and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, there were 5,995 new confirmed cases on January 14, bringing the total to 454,402. Currently, Massachusetts has the 17th most confirmed Covid-19 cases in the U.S., with California, Texas, and Florida as the top three states. Massachusetts is currently distributing vaccines, which have been extended to first responders and healthcare workers on January 11. In the town of Andover, there are 206 active cases, 1,770 cumulative cases, and 103 reported deaths as of January 14.