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Coronavirus live updates: US reports over 180,000 new cases

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(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now infected more than 85.6 million people worldwide and killed over 1.8 million of them, according to real-time data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Here’s how the news is developing Tuesday. All times Eastern:

Jan 05, 8:19 am
Arizona has world’s highest rate of COVID-19, data shows

Arizona currently has the highest rate of COVID-19 infections per capita of any region in the world, according to a graph created by 91-DIVOC, which used data collected by Johns Hopkins University.

91-DIVOC is an online data visualization project created by Wade Fagen-Ulmschneider, a teaching associate professor of computer science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The graph, which is updated daily with data collected by Johns Hopkins University, shows that the southwestern U.S. state has an average of 112.1 newly confirmed cases per 100,000 people a day over the past week.

Meanwhile, the Czech Republic has the highest infection rate of any country, with a seven-day average of 96.7 new cases per 100,000 people a day. The United States as a whole has a seven-day average of 65.4, the sixth highest of any country, the graph shows.

Arizona’s Department of Health Services has reported more than 561,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, including over 9,000 deaths. The state has seen a surge in new cases over the past week, which would account for the per capita ranking, according to ABC Phoenix affiliate KNXV-TV.

Jan 05, 6:52 am
Retired CT state trooper who was among first to respond to Sandy Hook shooting dies of COVID-19

A retired Connecticut State Police trooper, who was among the first to respond to the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, has died of COVID-19, officials said.

Patrick Dragon, 50, of Brooklyn, Connecticut, died Saturday at Hartford Hospital in the state’s capital, according to the Connecticut State Police, which announced his death in a Facebook post Monday night.

The Foster Police Department in the Rhode Island town of Foster, where Dragon was working as a dispatcher, confirmed his death “after a valiant battle with COVID.”

Foster Police Chief David Breit described Dragon as “a great person, kind, caring and a friend to all who met him.”

“There are not enough words, to describe the kind of a person that Patrick was,” Breit wrote in a Facebook post Sunday morning.

The East Brooklyn Fire Department in the Connecticut town of Brooklyn, where Dragon served for 34 years, most recently as a deputy chief, also announced his death.

“We cannot express how deeply he will be missed and wish to extend our deepest condolences to the Dragon family,” the department wrote in a Facebook post.

Jan 05, 4:31 am
Seychelles records first death from COVID-19

Seychelles has recorded its first death from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The patient was a 57-year-old Seychellois man who was hospitalized on New Year’s Eve at a COVID-19 isolation and treatment center on Perseverance Island, just north of the capital Victoria. He died from complications of his illness on Sunday evening, according to a press release from Seychelles’ Ministry of Health.

“This is the first such death occurring in Seychelles and comes amid an uptick of new COVID-19 cases,” the health ministry said in a statement. “This first loss is deeply felt by all the health workers and community in general. It further strengthens the resolve to intensify efforts to prevent further transmission.”

In the wake of the country’s first coronavirus-related fatality, Seychellois health authorities announced a string of new restrictions at a press conference Monday, including the closure of all public swimming pools, retail stores and many restaurants. Grocery stores and hardware shops can remain open.

Seychelles President Wavel Ramkalawan warned that the “situation is deteriorating,” with more than a dozen new cases confirmed over the previous 24 hours.

“It is easy to put COVID-19 under control if we all take precautions,” Ramkalawan told reporters Monday. “We should all be wearing our mask, it is an easy thing to do.”

Seychelles, an Indian Ocean archipelago located off the coast of East Africa with a population of just under 100,000, has reported 322 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, according to the latest data from the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Jan 05, 3:20 am
US reports over 180,000 new cases

There were 180,477 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the United States on Monday, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

Monday’s tally is less than the all-time high of 297,491 new cases, which the country logged on Jan. 2, Johns Hopkins data shows.

An additional 1,903 deaths from COVID-19 were also registered nationwide on Monday, down from a peak of 3,750 on Dec. 30, according to Johns Hopkins data.

COVID-19 data may be skewed due to possible lags in reporting over the holidays followed by a potentially very large backlog.

A total of 20,823,345 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 353,621 of them have died, according to Johns Hopkins data. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.

Much of the country was under lockdown by the end of March as the first wave of the pandemic hit. By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in the country’s cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up over the summer.

The numbers lingered around 40,000 to 50,000 from mid-August through early October before surging again to record levels, crossing 100,000 for the first time on Nov. 4 and reaching 200,000 for the first time on Nov. 27.

Jan 05, 2:45 am
Mexico approves Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine

A COVID-19 vaccine developed by England’s University of Oxford and British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has been authorized for emergency use in Mexico.

Mexico’s Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS), a decentralized regulatory body of the country’s health ministry, announced its decision to approve the shot in a statement Monday evening.

Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations Marcelo Ebrard took to Twitter to praise the approval, calling it “very good news.”

It’s the second COVID-19 vaccine to be approved in the Latin American nation. Mexico authorized a vaccine developed by U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech for emergency use on Dec. 11, just before the United States did so as well.

Mexico has reported more than 1.4 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, including at least 127,757 deaths, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

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