States plan for vaccines as daily US virus deaths top 3,100


States drafted plans Thursday for who will go to the front of the line when the first doses of COVID-19 vaccine become available later this month, as U.S. deaths from the outbreak eclipsed 3,100 in a single day, obliterating the record set last spring.

With initial supplies of the vaccine certain to be limited, governors and other state officials are weighing both health and economic concerns in deciding the order in which the shots will be dispensed.

States face a Friday deadline to submit requests for doses of the Pfizer vaccine and specify where they should be shipped, and many appear to be heeding nonbinding guidelines adopted this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to put health care workers and nursing home patients first.


But they’re also facing a multitude of decisions about other categories of residents — some specific to their states; some vital to their

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Exercise Coastal Caribbean Warrior > United States Marine Corps Flagship > News Display


U.S. Marines with Charlie Company, 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division recently traveled nearly 1,600 miles to conduct open-water and dive training with Netherlands Marines from the 32nd Raiding Squadron in Savaneta, Aruba, on November 7.

The training increases interoperability between the Netherlands Marine Corps and the U.S. Marines as they work side-by-side as partner nations. 2nd Recon Bn., stationed on Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, don’t often have the opportunity to work in tropical waters such as those of Aruba. To further develop the relationship between the two units, the Dutch Marines, will in turn, travel to Camp Lejeune in coming months to perfect their own tactics in a foreign climate and to perform myriad other types of training in the U.S.

“This is really a unique opportunity. The Dutch Marines’ subject-matter expertise in coastal tropics is invaluable to preparing us for combat situations in foreign regions.”

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States need to distribute coronavirus vaccines. But they struggled with past immunization efforts.


with Alexandra Ellerbeck

The United States — poised to embark upon its largest-ever vaccination effort — has a mediocre track record on previous vaccine campaigns.

Roughly 4 in 10 Americans were inoculated against the seasonal flu last year. The vaccination rate for the H1N1 outbreak a decade ago was half that.

Those rates, presented in a new report from the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit foundation supporting research on health care issues, are well below the 60 percent to 70 percent threshold needed for “herd immunity” — the point at which enough of the population is immune from a virus to stop it from spreading widely. 

Experts say achieving herd immunity with the coronavirus is crucial for life in the United States to return to normal next year.

States will face big hurdles to vaccinating large swaths of residents against the coronavirus, if history is any guide.



a close up of a bottle with a blue toothbrush: (Dado Ruvic/Reuters)


© Dado Ruvic/Reuters
(Dado

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USS Ross Completes Second NATO Air-Defense Exercise in the Baltic > United States Navy > News Stories


BALTIC SEA – The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) completed a series of air defense and fighter control exercises with NATO air forces in the Baltic Sea, Nov. 28, 2020.

German Eurofighter F2000 aircraft from NATO Air Command conducted a series of flyovers while Ross’ air-intercept controllers directed the aircraft in a series of tactical air defense exercises.

“Air defense exercises like these provide us with a unique opportunity for our watch standers to train in a dynamic environment,” said Cmdr. John D. John, commanding officer of Ross. “Being able to conduct these exercises with our NATO Allies provides all of us with the opportunity to maintain our warfighting readiness and improve interoperability.”

Ross has conducted similar air defense exercises while operating in the Baltic, most recently being last week with Italian Eurofighter Typhoon F2000 aircraft assigned to NATO and again with Portuguese Air Force F-16

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‘A natural disaster … in all 50 states’ is unfolding just as travelers disperse nationwide after Thanksgiving


As millions of Americans head home after Thanksgiving, coronavirus could be hitching a ride with any number of travelers — threatening to plant the seeds of new infections across the country.



a group of people in a room: FILE - In this Nov. 19, 2020, file photo, EMT Giselle Dorgalli, second from right, looks at a monitor while performing chest compression on a patient who tested positive for coronavirus in the emergency room at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in the Mission Hills section of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)


© Jae C. Hong/AP
FILE – In this Nov. 19, 2020, file photo, EMT Giselle Dorgalli, second from right, looks at a monitor while performing chest compression on a patient who tested positive for coronavirus in the emergency room at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in the Mission Hills section of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

A surge of new infections could overwhelm hospitals already stretched to capacity. A record-breaking 91,635 Covid-19 patients were hospitalized on Saturday, according to the Covid Tracking Project.

“There’s no way that the hospitals can be fully prepared for what we’re currently facing,” emergency medicine physician Dr. Megan Ranney said.

“This is like a natural disaster occurring in all 50 states

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Mass vaccination against covid will be a challenge for Alabama and other poor, rural states


The lone doctor at his clinic in Marion, the county seat, Lee watched his two nurse practitioners leave during the pandemic in search of less grueling work. An X-ray technician also quit.

“I will take the first vaccine that hits the street,” he said.

Lee is among the Americans expected to have priority access to a coronavirus vaccine that could become available as soon as next month. But as for when the vaccine will reach Perry County — and whether the rest of the community will agree to take it — the doctor would not hazard a guess.

Under its Operation Warp Speed initiative, the Trump administration has promised simultaneous distribution of vaccines to “all of America.” The soaring ambition, however, is set to run headlong into the barriers to health care and mistrust of speedily developed vaccines that mark Perry County and other rural, impoverished parts of America. Residents

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Coronavirus update: In 9 states, over 1 in 1,000 people have died of coronavirus-linked causes


On Friday, South Dakota became the latest state to see at least one covid-19 death for every 1,000 residents, joining New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Louisiana, Rhode Island, Mississippi and North Dakota. The country also surpassed 13 million known coronavirus cases during a holiday season upended by the pandemic. Even with travel significantly down from last year, millions went through airport checkpoints in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, and governors on Friday urged people not to let down their guard amid Black Friday shopping.

Thanksgiving’s contributions to the spread of the virus may not be apparent until next week, when reporting becomes more regular again and when people who may have gotten infected at family gatherings receive their test results. Officials’ calls to minimize travel and large get-togethers came as powerful tools to fight the virus move closer to reality — the Federal Aviation Administration said Friday that

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U.S. States COVID-19 Cases This Week Reach 1.2 Million


A warning to data-watchers: Over the past eight months, we have observed that the data coming from states and territories during and after weekends and holidays tend to be erratic. We expect to see this trend in full force over the holiday weekend and for several days afterward. As our managing editor, Erin Kissane, explained on Tuesday, “Holidays, like weekends, cause testing and reporting to go down and then, a few days later, to ‘catch up.’ So the data we see early next week will reflect not only actual increases in cases, tests, and deaths, but also the potentially very large backlog from the holiday.”

On Wednesday, California reported 18,350 new cases, the highest single-day count for any U.S. state during the pandemic. The western state’s single-day case record is followed by Texas’s—15,609—set on the same day. California and Texas are the country’s most populous states; on a per capita

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Hospitals in 25 U.S. States Face Staffing Shortages Amid Surging COVID Cases, Study Shows


Hospitals in at least 25 states across the U.S. are facing staff shortages amid increasing COVID-19 case counts, according to a new study.



a person standing in a room: A healthcare professional suits up to enter a Covid-19 patient's room in the ICU at Van Wert County Hospital in Van Wert, Ohio on November 20, 2020.


© Megan Jelinger/Getty
A healthcare professional suits up to enter a Covid-19 patient’s room in the ICU at Van Wert County Hospital in Van Wert, Ohio on November 20, 2020.

The survey, which was published by STAT, used data from the American Hospital Association as well as a tally conducted by the news site.

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Nancy Foster, vice president of quality and patient safety at the American Hospital Association told STAT that over the past two weeks, a dozen hospital leaders have said that they are facing staff shortages in Texas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois.

Additionally, health care providers in Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Ohio, Missouri, Michigan and Utah—as well as local news outlets in New Mexico, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama,

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Colorado Ski Areas Opening as Pandemic’s Third Wave Threatens to Scuttle Season | Best States


As the snow deepens in Colorado’s Front Range, uncertainty owns the slopes in some of America’s top skiing destinations.

The largest players in the state’s multibillion-dollar ski industry spent the summer drawing up plans that would allow resorts to operate through another pandemic winter. Engineers were hired to re-imagine lift lines. Apps and no-touch kiosks were rushed to readiness. Parking attendants prepared to break up tailgate parties thrown by skiers unable to hit the slope-side bars.

Those months of effort aimed at twinned goals: opening, as hills above Aspen and Vail began to do days ago, and staying open. Now what some are calling the third wave of COVID-19 threatens to wash that all away.

“Our mantra and philosophy going into this winter is that safety is service,” says spokesperson John Plack of Vail Resorts, which operates 37 ski resorts in the United States and Australia.

“We’ve got these vast

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