Coronavirus News Update – Feb. 22: U.S. Crosses 500,000 Mark in Covid-19 Deaths

Coronavirus News Update – Feb. 22: U.S. Crosses 500,000 Mark in Covid-19 Deaths

Pre-pandemic drinks at the American Bar at the Stafford Hotel in London

The United States crossed the 500,000 mark in coronavirus-related deaths at some point over the weekend, a little over one year after the first death from the coronavirus occurred in the country in Washington state.  The milestone as crossed as the number of new cases there continued to decline on a steep slope.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease doctor and the Biden administration’s chief medical officer, forecast “a significant degree of normality” for later this year but said that people would likely have to continue to don face masks into 2022. Speaking on the CNN news program “State of the Union” on Sunday, Fauci said “Iwant it to keep going down to a baseline that’s so low there is virtually no threat,” making a reference to the number of new daily cases that would make him feel comfortable to recommend discontinuing the use of masks when going out in public.

Meanwhile, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled a four-month “roadmap” for Britain to come out of the current lockdown.  While schools will reopen on March 8, and people will be able to socialize outside starting March 29, restaurants and pubs will remain closed for at least another month.

Scotland’s vaccination program has been linked to a substantial drop in new coronavirus cases, health officials there said.

Officials in New York confirmed what is believed to be the first known case of the South African variant of the coronavirus.  The variant was detected in a man from Connecticut who was hospitalized in New York City, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

Georgia opened four mass vaccination sites across the state, including one at the Delta Flight Museum in Atlanta.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)