For the first time, the United States reported more than 4,000 deaths from the coronavirus in a single day. That’s more than double the average daily number of deaths from major causes such as heart disease (1,796), cancer (1,641), or accidental injury (458), according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Increasing cases and deaths in Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas drove Thursday’s record. Travel and gatherings over the holidays and people spending more time indoors due to colder weather likely propelled the increase.
The daily death count declined since then to 1,999 deaths on Sunday, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
How is vaccine distribution going? World Health Organization experts on Friday said healthcare workers can wait up to six weeks before giving people the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine so more people can receive the first round. But they still recommend the standard interval of about three weeks.
President-elect Joe Biden said he plans to release doses being held back for that second shot to speed up the rollout. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned against changing the vaccine regimen without more evidence.
Dig deeper: Read Emily Belz’s report about the technology behind the coronavirus vaccines.
This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2020, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.