NEW YORK (WABC) -- The coronavirus death toll in California has now surpassed the death toll in New York.
According to Johns Hopkins, California has reported 45,496 COVID-related fatalities. New York has reported 45,312.
Meantime, hundreds of army soldiers are being deployed to Los Angeles to give out coronavirus vaccines.
The more dangerous South African variant has now been found in California, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and Texas.
In other news, World Health Organization investigators revealed to the Wall Street Journal that COVID-19 may have been spreading in central China two months earlier than first revealed by the Chinese government, as early as October of 2019, but scientists say more research is needed.
The Biden administration promising a boost in vaccine shipments in the days ahead as Pfizer and Moderna ramp up production.
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Here are more of today's headlines:
Gov. Cuomo meeting with President Biden Friday
President Biden will meet with a group of governors and mayors Friday morning to discuss his COVID-19 rescue plan. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is one of the participants in the meeting along with the governors of Arkansas, New Mexico and Maryland as well as mayors from several major U.S. cities.
New Jersey man left coping with loss of 4 family members from COVID-19
A New Jersey man is now left with a situation he can only describe as "unreal." Ed Kemble is still in shock, now coping with the deaths of four family members who lived with him after contracting COVID-19.
103-year-old matriarch gets COVID-19 vaccine, thanks to 7 On Your Side
The family of a soon to be 104-year-old woman said that despite their best efforts, their matriarch was shut out from getting her first COVID-19 vaccination shot. That's when 7 On Your Side went everywhere from City Hall up to Albany to get this centenarian scheduled.
Trump's COVID-19 condition was so concerning that doctors considered putting him on a ventilator: Source
Former President Donald Trump's condition after testing positive for COVID-19 became so concerning last October that there was talk of putting him on a ventilator, according to what Trump told one person at the time.
The detail raises questions about whether the former President's condition was worse than officials were willing to publicly acknowledge, a development first reported in detail by the New York Times Thursday.
'COVID angels' help Westchester Co. seniors book vaccination appointments
Hundreds of volunteers dubbed "COVID angels" are helping senior citizens in Westchester County book vaccination appointments.
Loretta London of Tarrytown and her husband started making calls and navigating web sites for friends in January after having trouble securing appointments for themselves.
US will have enough COVID-19 vaccine for 300 million people by July, Biden says
President Joe Biden visited some of the nation's leading scientists on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19 on Thursday, as he announced the U.S. will have enough supply of the vaccine by the end of the summer to inoculate 300 million Americans.
Biden toured the Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory at the sprawling National Institutes of Health complex just outside Washington that created the COVID-19 vaccine now manufactured by Moderna and being rolled out in the U.S. and other countries. He was also set to address the agency's team of researchers and scientists, who have investigated treatments for COVID-19 and other dangerous diseases.
1.7 million counterfeit 3M N95 masks seized from Queens warehouse
Officials announced Thursday the seizure of over 1.7 million counterfeit 3M N95 face masks stockpiled in a Long Island City warehouse and the arrest of the warehouse manager.
Authorities say the counterfeit goods were ready for sale to unsuspecting medical workers.
Governor Cuomo warns New Yorkers to 'not let guard down' despite CDC guidance
Governor Andrew Cuomo warned New Yorkers not to "let their guard down" despite the updated CDC guidance.
"All New Yorkers, including those who have been fully vaccinated, should continue to wear masks, social distance, and be smart until herd immunity is reached and this pandemic is fully relegated to the history books," Governor Cuomo and NY Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said in a statement on Thursday.
Fauci says 'virtually everybody' could start getting COVID-19 vaccines in April
Dr. Anthony Fauci predicts by April it will be "open season" for vaccinations in the U.S., as supply boosts allow most people to get shots to protect against COVID-19.
Fauci, who serves as science adviser to President Joe Biden, says the rate of vaccinations will greatly accelerate in the coming months. He credits forthcoming deliveries of the two approved vaccines, the potential approval of a third and moves taken by the Biden administration to increase the nation's capacity to deliver doses.
World's 2nd oldest person, French nun who survived COVID, celebrates 117th birthday with wine, prayer
A French nun who is believed to be the world's second-oldest person was celebrating her 117th birthday in style on Thursday. There were plans for Champagne and red wine, a feast with her favorite dessert, a Mass in her honor, and other treats to toast Sister André's exceptional longevity through two world wars and a recent coronavirus infection.
California edges out New York in COVID deaths
California has edged past New York with the most death from the coronavirus. California's death toll reached 45,496, surpassing New York's toll of 45,312 on Thursday, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
The development comes as other coronavirus numbers show improvement in California. The most recent seven-day test positivity rate has fallen to 4.8%, according to the state Department of Public Health.
The most recent daily number of confirmed positive cases was 8,390, down from 53,000 in December.
However, California is grappling with vaccine shortages to inoculate substantial numbers of its nearly 40 million residents.
Fully vaccinated people can skip COVID quarantines if exposed to someone infected, CDC says
People who have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus -- right now that means with two doses of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine -- can skip quarantine if they are exposed to someone infected with the virus, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.
The criteria: They must be fully vaccinated -- having had both shots with at least two weeks having passed since the second shot. That's because it takes two weeks to build full immunity after the second dose of vaccine.
But the CDC says it's not known how long protection lasts, so people who had their last shot three months ago or more should still quarantine if they are exposed. They also should quarantine if they show symptoms, the CDC said.
New Jersey coronavirus update: COVID-19 vaccine arrives at CVS, Rite-Aid stores
The COVID-19 vaccine has arrived at CVS Pharmacy and Rite-Aid locations across New Jersey, though all appointments are already booked.
Eligibility includes people age 65 and over, anyone 16 and up with medical conditions as defined by the CDC, and first responders.
Citi Field Opens for Vaccines
Citi Field is open for vaccinations starting on Wednesday, February 10. Half of the doses there are reserved for Queens residents and the other half is for drivers with TLC licenses and food delivery workers. The site will be open 24 hours a day from Wednesday to Saturday. CLICK HERE for signup information or call 877-VAX4NYC.
Top 7 COVID vaccine questions answered
You had questions about COVID-19 vaccines and 7 On Your Side is getting you answers from doctors on the front line of the pandemic.
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