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VIRUS TODAY: With vaccine coming, daily deaths set a record

Here’s what’s happening Saturday with the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.:


— The nation’s first COVID-19 vaccine will begin arriving in states Monday morning, U.S. officials said. The government on Friday gave the final go-ahead to the shots needed to end an outbreak that has killed nearly 300,000 Americans.

— The U.S. hit another grim daily record Friday, recording 3,309 deaths related to COVID-19. That surpassed the previous one-day high of 3,124 deaths reported Wednesday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Friday also saw a new high in daily confirmed infections, with more than 231,000. That’s nearly 4,000 above the previous record set on Dec. 4.

— Officials in California hope that a three-week stay-at-home order imposed this week on the agricultural San Joaquin Valley will slow transmission in a 12-county area where 97% of intensive care hospital beds are occupied.

THE NUMBERS: Deaths in the U.S. rose to an average 2,360 per day on average, up from 1,477 at the end of November, according to the COVID Tracking Project, using a seven-day rolling average. New cases confirmed daily also have jumped, to 210,765 from 166,123 on Nov. 27.

QUOTABLE: “We see the train coming down the track and we’re telling people, and some people listen and get off the track and other people get on the track and start dancing.” — Chuck Davis, CEO of data science company Bayesiant, on trying to get people in California to take precautions to avoid transmission.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Many snowbirds who typically live in warm U.S. climates part of the year to escape harsh winters in places as far away as Canada are staying put this year because of the pandemic, causing another hit to American tourism.

ON THE HORIZON: Trucks are expected to roll out Sunday morning with shipments of Pfizer’s vaccine heading to nearly 150 distribution centers across the states. An additional 425 sites will get shipments Tuesday, and the remaining 66 on Wednesday.


Find AP’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at


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