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Coronavirus updates: Utah mink is first wild animal with COVID-19

California to get nearly 400K more vaccine doses; US deaths top 300K

An additional 400 hospitals will receive the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday after hundreds of health care workers and officials across the U.S. were vaccinated on Monday.


Nursing homes and long-term care facilities, however, won't begin immunizations until Dec. 21, and some on Dec. 28, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed that a mink in Utah is the first wild animal in the U.S. to test positive for the coronavirus. The news comes weeks after an Oregon mink farm reported a COVID-19 outbreak, and Denmark officials culled 15 million minks over coronavirus fears.


📈 Today's numbers: The U.S. has reported more than 16.4 million cases and 300,400 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: 72.8 million cases and 1.62 million deaths.


📰 What we're reading: We're answering your questions about the vaccine, like: What are the side effects? Can you still get sick? Is it safe during pregnancy? Get the answers here.


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CDC: Nursing homes will begin immunizations next week

The vast majority of nursing homes in the United States won't start vaccinating staff and residents against COVID-19 until Dec. 21, and some won't start until Dec. 28, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Monday's rollout of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine brought confusion nationwide as it became clear long-term care facilities and nursing homes were not taking part in the initial immunizations, despite the CDC's decision last week to include residents in the first phase of distribution. 



That's because the majority of long-term care facilities opted to take part in a federal program that uses pharmacy chains, including CVS, Walgreens and others, to facilitate vaccination of both staff and residents.


The Federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-term Care program will launch Dec. 21 for jurisdictions that opted to use the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine. More than 1,100 vaccination clinics at long-term care facilities across the country are scheduled to occur on that day, CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said.


– Elizabeth Weise and Tom Mooney


Mink in Utah is first wild animal to test positive for COVID-19

A Utah mink became the first wild animal in the U.S. to test positive for COVID-19, the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed Monday.




"To our knowledge, this is the 1st free-ranging, native wild animal confirmed with SARS-CoV-2," the agency said in a statement.


The animal was part of wildlife surveillance for the virus in infected mink farms in Utah, Michigan and Wisconsin between Aug. 24 to Oct. 30, the USDA said. 


The agency said there is no evidence that the virus has spread in wild populations around infected mink farms. Several other species were tested and all results came back negative. The agency said it notified the World Organization for Animal Health of the positive case.


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California to receive nearly 400K more Pfizer doses next week

Hours after California's first health care workers received the COVID-19 vaccine Monday in Los Angeles, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Twitter that the nation's most populous state will receive an additional 393,000 doses of Pfizer's vaccine next week.


The state received 33,000 doses on Monday. ICU nurse Helen Cordova was the first health care worker to get the vaccine at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center. "Protect me," she said as a colleague gave her the vaccine.


Jennifer Van Aernem, director of education at Conway Medical Center in South Carolina, prepares to administer the Pfizer-developed COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.

Germany urges residents to skip Christmas shopping

German officials are suggesting that residents should forgo Christmas shopping and consider attending Christmas Mass online rather than in person. Meanwhile, its neighbor to the northwest, the Netherlands, is preparing to impose its own strict new lockdown measures beginning at midnight Tuesday.


German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the governors of Germany's 16 states agreed Sunday to tighten lockdown measures beginning Wednesday and running through at least Jan. 10. 


Starting Wednesday, schools nationwide will be closed or will switch to homeschooling; most stores that do not sell food will be shuttered, as will businesses such as hairdressers. Restaurant takeout will still be permitted, but no eating or drinking can take place on site.


"I wish and I hope that people will only buy what they really need, like groceries," Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said. "The faster we get these infections under control, the better it is for everyone."



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Source:https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/12/15/covid-news-pfizer-vaccine-utah-mink-300-k-us-deaths/6548302002/

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