FS-ISAC Coronavirus Update, Jan. 15, 2021


  • The US registered an additional 4,022 deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, according to data collected by The COVID Tracking Project, marking the second day in a row the country's daily toll crossed 4,000, and the third time since January 7, with the number of fatalities currently 25% higher than at any other time during the pandemic.
  • Several states, including Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, New Mexico and South Carolina, and nearly all US metro areas with over 500,000 people are in "full resurgence" of COVID-19, the White House coronavirus task force said in its latest report dated January 10, with findings that show the fall/winter surge has had nearly twice the rate of rise in cases as the spring and summer surges.
  • A newly identified variant may have first emerged in the US in May from a sample in Texas and could be one of the predominant versions circulating now widespread in the Midwest and compromises roughly 50% of the samples in the country, researchers at Southern Illinois University found.
  • Just over 11 million people have received their first coronavirus shots – representing an increase of about 1 million administered since Wednesday, with more than 1.3 million having received two shots, and more than 30 million doses have been distributed, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said today.
  • US President-elect Joe Biden Thursday evening outlined a $1.9 trillion emergency legislative package to fund nationwide vaccination and expand testing efforts and provide economic relief to Americans amid the pandemic, a two-step proposal called the American Rescue Plan that will include direct $1,400 cash payments, extended and expanded unemployment benefits through September, rent relief, food assistance, keeping essential front-line workers on the job, and aid to small businesses.
  • There’s a risk that initial protection against Covid-19 could decrease if the administration of the second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is delayed, BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin said Wednesday, adding “In the absence of evidence, we would of course favor that the second dose is applied not much later than what is originally proposed.”
  • Despite indications that hospitalizations are beginning to level off in California, the number of available ICU beds has dropped to the lowest level recorded yet, according to data from the Department of Public Health, with only 1,094 ICU beds available for the state’s 40 million residents, and more than 22,000 people hospitalized with the virus in the state, with nearly 5,000 of those are in intensive care units.
  • With all eyes now turned to the nation's capital ahead of Inauguration Day, cases in Washington DC have never been higher, and right now it's averaging more than 320 new cases every day - about a 38% jump from the previous week.
  • West Virginia leads the nation in terms of vaccine doses administered per capital, and Governor Jim Justice credited a “practical” approach to the state’s rollout, as well as a break from the federal model for the success administering vaccine doses, and as of Monday, every dose received had been administered, or was assigned to be administered to an individual in the next day or so.
  • People who have recovered from Covid-19 may have immunity to the virus for around five months, according to preliminary findings in a new study led by Public Health England released today, but warned that the protection was not total and also said it's possible people who have a degree of immunity will still be able to transmit it to others.
  • Smartwatches and other wearable devices that continuously measure users' heart rates, skin temperature and other physiological markers can help spot infections days before an individual is diagnosed, even before they are symptomatic or the virus is detectable by tests, according to studies from leading medical and academic institutions, including Mount Sinai Health System in New York and Stanford University in California.
  • Covid-19 monoclonal antibody treatments are being "underutilized," according to the US Department of Health and Human Services, and on Thursday officials are urging the public to use these therapies to treat illness.
  • China reported its first Covid-19 related death in 242 days as daily new infections reached the highest levels since July, according to health authorities.
  • All of France will become subject to a curfew from 6Pm to 6AM for at least 15 days from Saturday, French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced on Thursday.
  • Initial jobless claims surged last week to the highest level since August, as outbreaks take hold in mid-winter, with first-time claims jumping to 965,000 for the week, far worse than the 800,000 Wall Street expected and well above the 784,000 claims filed in the previous period.
  • The Covid-19 pandemic is providing new opportunities and vulnerabilities for criminals, such as "attacks" on vaccines, Interpol’s Secretary General warned in an interview Thursday, and the international police organization has alerted governments and law enforcement to prepare for attacks, including theft, warehouse break-ins and fake vaccines.
  • A coalition known as the Vaccination Credential Initiative - which includes Microsoft, Salesforce and Oracle, as well as US health-care non-profit Mayo Clinic - was announced on Thursday to develop a vaccination passport that can be stored in a digital wallet of choice, anticipating that governments, airlines and major corporations will soon start asking people for proof that they have been inoculated.
  • The World Health Organization team tasked with investigating the origins of the Covid-19 outbreak in Wuhan has arrived in China, but two of the members are stuck in Singapore after testing positive.
  • Roughly twice as many women as men are getting vaccinated, according to data from a dozen states that publish demographic information online, and in at least three of these states - Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Nebraska - records that include gender say women account for more than seven in 10 people vaccinated, with the percentage of men not breaking 39% in any of the states.


US Updates





14 Jan Thu

23,222,629 (+224,461)

387,100 (+3,765) - 1.67%

9,100,695 (+91,114)

13 Jan Wed

22,998,168 (+222,942)

383,335 (+3,894) - 1.67%

9,009,581 (+84,151)

12 Jan Tue

22,775,226 (+234,409)

379,441 (+4,071) - 1.67%

8,925,430 (+116,869)

11 Jan Mon

22,540,817 (+240,273)

375,370 (+1,704) - 1.67%

8,808,561 (+42,023)

10 Jan Sun

22,300,544 (+240,108)

373,666 (+2,053) - 1.68%

8,766,538 (+103,949)

9 Jan Sat

22,060,436 (+260,533)

371,613 (+3,687) - 1.68%

8,662,589 (+74,049)

8 Jan Fri

21,799,903 (+318,267)

367,926 (+3,866) - 1.69%

8,588,540 (+110,156)

Vaccines – US

  1. Mayors of some three-dozen US cities have asked the incoming Biden administration to send vaccine shipments directly to them, bypassing state governments, saying local officials were best positioned to ramp up lagging inoculations.
  2. Texas became the first state in the US to administer 1 million vaccines, Governor Greg Abbott said on Thursday, exactly one month to the day after the first doses arrived at providers in the state.
  3. Alabama currently lags behind the rest of the country, with only 1,882 doses administered per 100,000 residents, while all other states have administered at least 2,000 doses per 100,000 residents.
  4. West Virginia has distributed nearly 90% of its supply of the first vaccine shot and is expected to be done inoculating nursing care residents with two doses by the end of January, with firefighters, police and EMTs in the state - one of the poorest in the country - also getting close to fully vaccinated.
  5. Ohio will start vaccinating members of the public who are 80 years old or older starting next week, Governor Mike DeWine said today, adding the state hopes to lower the minimum age for availability by five years every week.
  6. North Carolina Roy Cooper announced a change in the state’s vaccination policy from the previously announced phased system today, with providers who are ready now able to vaccinate adults 65 years and older and healthcare workers, which will be followed by frontline essential workers, then adults with high risk of exposure and increased risk of serious illness, then everyone.
  7. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said Thursday that about half of the commonwealth's residents will now be eligible to receive the vaccine, with people who are 65 and up will now prioritized along with the "Phase 1B" group that also includes frontline essential worker groups like police, firefighters, hazmat workers, teachers, and staff at childcare services as well as pre-K through 12th grade, corrections workers, grocery store workers, mail carriers and more.
  8. New Jersey announced Wednesday it had expanded its vaccination program to include all those over 65 and people with underlying health conditions, like heart disease, cancer and diabetes, and also added smokers to the list who will get early access.
  9. Ohio now has 750 provider locations across the state and approximately 100,000 vaccines, which will be available starting next week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, will launch a tool Friday to allow citizens to see a list of providers offering vaccine in their area, and is also in the process of working on a state scheduling system.
  10. New York started transferring vaccine to pharmacies in the state on Thursday, and Ohio and Colorado are expected to start transferring their doses very soon.
  11. Pueblo, Colorado local public health officials said they rendered 300 doses of the Pfizer vaccine unusable after a portable vaccine storage unit malfunction.
  12. Most Hispanic adults in the US want to receive a vaccine eventually, but Hispanic adults under 50 are twice as likely to say they will “definitely not get the vaccine,” according to an analysis of Kaiser Family Foundation’s Covid-19 Vaccine Monitor Survey completed in early December, with adults under 50 also less likely to say that they will “get the vaccine as soon as possible” once one is approved and available.
  13. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is asking states to transfer unused vaccine doses to pharmacies, and wants them to soon start sending doses directly from manufacturers and distributors.
  14. Officials at two large long-term care chains in the United States, Juniper Communities and Atria Senior Living, said they were requiring their workers, with limited exceptions, to be vaccinated if they want to keep their jobs.
  15. Sixteen states and territories are utilizing the National Guard to help with vaccinations, with Idaho, Illinois, Puerto Rico and Rhode island now joining Arizona, California, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina and Tennessee, and the majority relying on assistance with repackaging vaccines, PPE distribution, disinfecting and operating testing sites.
  16. A false rumor that extra doses were available had people lining the sidewalks and cars filling the roadways near a New York City vaccine site, and another rumor caused more than 100 people to go to Bay Area sites, despite not qualifying for the vaccines.
  17. Southwest Airlines say it isn’t requiring their employees to get vaccinated, but is encouraging workers to get shots as soon as possible.
  18. American Airlines has told pilots they should take a vaccine on their own time while preparing a broader voluntary program for employee vaccinations at airports around the country.


Total Doses Distributed


% of Total Population

Total Doses Administered


% of Total Population

NEW - Number of People Receiving 1 or more Doses


NEW - Number of People Receiving 2 Doses







































































US Outbreak

  1. There were 229,610 new cases in the US on Wednesday, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University, the ninth straight day that the country has reported more than 200,000 infections, and a tally that was less than the all-time high of 302,506 on January 2.
  2. Arizona is leading the country in cases per capita, according to COVID Tracking Project data, Virginia, Georgia and Florida’s daily case numbers are dwarfing their respective summer peaks, and New York’s average number of daily cases is 65% higher than during the spring surge.
  3. New York added 13,661 new cases, over 200 deaths – in the higher range reported over the past few weeks, and has 8,823 patients hospitalized with 1,536 of those in the ICU on Thursday.
  4. Kentucky recorded 4,084 infections and reported a near-record number of daily deaths on Thursday, with Governor Andy Beshear warning “We are absolutely at war.  We are suffering more casualties than most wars we have ever fought in.  Let’s treat it like it.”
  5. Florida matched its highest single-day death total since August 19 today, and the state’s hospitalization levels and rolling seven-day fatalities are now approaching their previous worst highs seen between over the summer.
  6. South Carolina health officials announced Thursday afternoon that they are shifting their response from "containment" to "mitigation" due to the continued high levels of the disease, with the containment focus on controlling the spread of disease by investigating each case and all who come into contact with them, but now the state is at a point where there are too many cases to investigate.
  7. Los Angeles County Department of Health Services’ most current epidemic model estimates that about one in 115 residents are currently infectious to others compared to one in 125 a week ago, and the number of new patients requiring hospitalization due to the virus has “increased markedly in December,” but “has appeared to level off.”
  8. Los Angeles County officials said late Wednesday that approximately one in three residents have been infected since the start of the pandemic, and they continue to experience a coronavirus surge, with workplace outbreaks at grocery stores, convenience stores, warehouses, manufacturing facilities, and many other workplaces where people come together on a daily basis have also increased.
  9. The pandemic is projected to lower Americans' life expectancy at birth by over a year, according to a study out of University of Southern California and Princeton University published Thursday, with Black and Latino populations expected to reduce three to four times more than white populations.
  10. A Northern California hospital was fined $43,000 after it delayed reporting a recent outbreak which resulted in the death of one employee, with Santa Clara County saying it issued a violation notice to Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center on January 5 "as a result of Kaiser's failure to timely report 43 cases involving personnel who tested positive between December 27, 2020 and January 1, 2021,” a number that has since grown to 92 infections as of Monday.
  11. Delta Air Lines says it has banned more than 880 travelers this year for refusing to wear face masks on board, a requirement to fly on US carriers during the pandemic.
  12. New York City will be reimbursed fully for the $5.9 billion dollars spent so far fighting the coronavirus, Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a presentation for the city’s 2022 fiscal budget Thursday, explaining that Senator Chuck Schumer told him a deal has been reached with the incoming Biden administration for FEMA to repay 100% of the money the city has spent.

US Restrictions & Schools

  1. California currently has about 90% of the state’s residents under stay at home orders as state projections show ICU capacity and other factors will remain at critical levels for at least the next four weeks.
  2. Transmission has been “extremely limited” in public schools that have reopened in North Carolina, a team of researchers from Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill have found, with a new study released this week finding that only a handful of cases can be traced to schools, and no children were found to have infected adults, data the report said indicates schools can reopen safely.
  3. US President-elect Joe Biden promised Thursday to help elementary and middle schools open to in-person learning within the first three months of his administration by helping schools stay clean and improve air circulation.
  4. Airlines For America, which represents major air carriers in the US, says it supports the incoming Biden administration’s proposal for a nationwide mask mandate, and wants to ensure it applies to require passengers wear face masks on airplanes and in airports. 
  5. Delta Air Lines is still weighing whether to end its seat-blocking policy this spring, a measure that aims to appeal to travelers looking for more physical distance on board during the pandemic, a policy that Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airways have recently abandoned.

Business Related

  1. Delta Air Lines kicked off US airline earnings today, reporting it lost a record $12.39 billion last year as it trudged through the pandemic, as the virus and accompanying travel restrictions, quarantine restrictions and shuttered attractions drove down air travel demand.
  2. New York City’s property tax revenues are projected to decline by $2.5 billion next year, the largest such drop in at least three decades.
  3. Instacart, the on-demand grocery delivery platform, said Thursday it will provide some financial assistance for its essential workers to ensure they can take time off work to get a vaccine, and beginning February 1, it will have a “vaccine support stipend” of $25 available for in-store employees and its independent contractors who have been vaccinated.
  4. Petco made its return to the public market today as the pandemic increases the number of Americans who are pet owners and inspires some to adopt an additional dog, cat or other critter.