COVID Live Updates: Model projects 500K coronavirus deaths in US by April

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information
NEW YORK (WABC) -- A new model from the University of Washington is projecting the death toll in the U.S. will reach more than half a million by April 1.

But researchers say that number would have been higher. The vaccine could help save more than 33,000 lives.

Meanwhile, there are over 120,000 patients hospitalized with coronavirus in the US, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

It marks the 20th straight day that the nation has hit a record high of current hospitalizations this month.

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Here are more of today's headlines:



NY inches closer to 7,000
There are now 6,950 patients being treated for COVID-19 in New York hospitals, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Christmas Day. Of the 226,560 tests reported Thursday, 12,446, or 5.49%, were positive. Cuomo also announced 122 additional deaths.

NJ reports another 5,000+ cases
New Jersey reported another 5,095 new positive cases of COVID-19, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Christmas Day. The state also reported 51 new confirmed deaths.

Japan confirms cases of new coronavirus variant
Japan's health ministry has confirmed the country's first cases of infection with the new variant of the coronavirus that was identified in Britain.

The five people arrived between Dec. 18 and Dec. 21, before Japan stepped up border control on Friday for entrants from Britain. A man in his 60s developed fatigue, but the other four were without symptoms.

Health Minister Norihisa Tamura said the five were sent to quarantine straight from the airports.

NYC indicators
On Christmas Day, Mayor Bill de Blasio reported 3,012 new cases in NYC along with 208 new hospitalizations. The city's 7-day positivity rate is currently 6.69%.

US to require negative COVID-19 test from UK travelers
The United States will require airline passengers from Britain to get a negative COVID-19 test before their flight, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced late Thursday.

The U.S. is the latest country to announce new travel restrictions because of a new variant of the coronavirus that is spreading in Britain and elsewhere.

2 separate COVID-19 outbreaks may have started with a person who went to work sick
Officials in Oregon say a "superspreader action" is likely behind two recent COVID-19 outbreaks in the state. The action in question: A person knowingly went to work while sick and later tested positive for the virus, Douglas County officials said last week.

Two separate COVID-19 outbreaks have now been traced back to that person, officials said. Seven people died as a result of the first outbreak, and hundreds of people were forced to self-isolate over the second one.

A pandemic Christmas: Churches shut, borders complicated
Curfews, quarantines and even border closings complicated Christmas celebrations Friday for countless people around the globe, but ingenuity, determination and imagination helped keep the day special for many.

British army helps clear backlog of virus-stranded drivers
Around 1,000 British soldiers were spending Christmas Day trying to clear a huge backlog of truck drivers stuck in southeast England after France briefly closed its border to the U.K. then demanded coronavirus tests from all amid fears of a new, apparently more contagious, virus variant.

Even as 4,000 international truck drivers spent yet another day cooped up in their cabs, some progress was evident Friday, with traffic around the English Channel port of Dover moving in an orderly fashion towards the extra ferries that were put on to make the short crossing across to Calais in northern France.

Black doctor dies of COVID after alleging hospital mistreatment
Lying in a hospital bed laboring for breath despite being on oxygen, Dr. Susan Moore, a 52-year-old Black physician, stared into her cell phone and recorded a video alleging her battle with COVID-19 was made worse by the treatment she received from a doctor at a suburban Indianapolis, Indiana, hospital.

Moore died on Sunday from complications of coronavirus, her son said. She had claimed that a physician treating her repeatedly ignored her complaints that she was in excruciating pain, and wanted to send her home. That doctor, she alleged, initially told her he felt uncomfortable giving her painkillers and "made me feel like a drug addict," she said on social media.

Christmas travel appears heavy despite COVID warnings

Experts say it's a fact that traveling raises your risk of catching and spreading the coronavirus, and that's why millions of Americans are choosing to stay home this weekend. Millions more, however, appear to be ignoring government warnings. On Wednesday, December 23, the TSA screened 1,191,123 people at airport checkpoints nationwide. It's the highest checkpoint volume since March 16, when 1,257,823 people were screened. Despite warnings from the CDC and other agencies against traveling for the holidays, officials say more than 6 million travelers have been screened since Friday, December 18.

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