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COVID-19 live updates: US hospitalizations reach record high

JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images

(NEW YORK) — As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe, more than 5.4 million people have died from the disease worldwide, including over 838,000 Americans, according to real-time data compiled by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

About 62.6% of the population in the United States is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Latest headlines:
-ICU, ventilator patients on the rise in New Jersey
-US hospitalizations reach record high
-Some immune-compromised Americans eligible for 4th dose this week

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

Jan 10, 5:48 pm
Record-breaking 580,000 new pediatric COVID-19 cases reported in US

Amidst the nation’s most significant COVID-19 infection surge yet, new data released on Monday shows that more than half a million children tested positive for COVID-19, last week, according to a weekly report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.

Last week alone, 580,000 children tested positive for COVID-19, marking a nearly three times more than two weeks prior, according to the organizations.

A total of 8.47 million children have tested positive for the virus since the onset of the pandemic, and nearly 11% of these children have tested positive in the past two weeks alone.

Children accounted for about 17.3% of the reported weekly COVID-19 cases last week, down again from previous weeks, when children accounted for more than a quarter of all new cases. For context, children under 18 make up 22.2% of the U.S. population.

Still, recent COVID-19 data could be skewed due to erratic and volatile reporting following the holidays. An artificial increase in the numbers could have resulted as more Americans get tested.

ABC News’ Arielle Mitropoulos

Jan 10, 4:44 pm
Harris County raises COVID threat level

In Harris County, Texas, which encompasses Houston, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo has raised the COVID-19 threat level to “red” — the highest level — due to an uptick in hospitalizations.

COVID-19 patients occupy 18% of all ICU beds in the county.

ABC News’ Matt Fuhrman

Jan 10, 4:29 pm
8 at-home tests per month soon covered by insurance

The Biden administration is moving forward on a rule to make at-home rapid tests reimbursable for insured Americans.

Beginning Jan. 15, Americans will get up to eight tests covered per month, as well as an unlimited number of tests covered if ordered or administered by a doctor or nurse.

“Insurance companies and health plans are required to cover 8 free over-the-counter at-home tests per covered individual per month. That means a family of four, all on the same plan, would be able to get up to 32 of these tests covered by their health plan per month. There is no limit on the number of tests, including at-home tests that are covered if ordered or administered by a health care provider following an individualized clinical assessment, including for those who may need them due to underlying medical conditions,” the Department of Health and Human Services said in a press release.

ABC News’ Cheyenne Haslett

Jan 10, 3:54 pm
Republicans vow to block DC’s vaccine mandate

In Washington, D.C., a vaccine mandate for restaurants, nightclubs, bars and indoor venues is set to begin on Jan. 15.

But 19 House Republicans sent a letter to Mayor Muriel Bowser on Monday saying that the mandate “will not prevent the virus from spreading.”

“This sweeping mandate, however, will harm the District’s economic recovery and lock many Americans out of their capital city,” the Republicans wrote, adding, “We urge you to withdraw the Order.”

The city is seeing some improvement in COVID-19 case numbers, D.C. Health’s senior deputy director, Patrick Ashley, told reporters on Monday.

“We’re very hopeful based on that data that we are getting to a better spot,” Ashley said. “It’s still certainly high. It’s still an area for concern and we don’t expect that to go down overnight.”

ABC News’ Beatrice Peterson

 

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