VIRUS TODAY: Nursing homes start shots; Congress nears deal

Here’s what’s happening Wednesday with the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.:


— The first COVID-19 vaccinations are underway at U.S. nursing homes, where the coronavirus has killed more than 110,000 people — about a third of American fatalities from the disease.

— Top congressional leaders are getting closer to an agreement on a long-delayed COVID-19 relief package, hoping to seal a deal as early as Wednesday that would extend aid to individuals and businesses and help ship vaccines to millions.

— Dozens of children who attended a Christmas tree-lighting event in Georgia may have been exposed to COVID-19 after a pair performing as Santa and Mrs. Claus tested positive for the virus, officials said.

THE NUMBERS: The seven-day rolling positivity rate for testing in the U.S. rose over the past two weeks from 10.1% on Dec. 1 to 11.1% on Tuesday, according to data through from Johns Hopkins University.

DEATH TOLL: Deaths in the U.S. stand at 304,000, or about the population of Cincinnati.

QUOTABLE: “Our theme today ought to be, ‘If it’s not one thing, it’s another.” — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, speaking during a news conference on a major snowstorm that was unfolding as delivery trucks distribute COVID-19 vaccine across the state.

ICYMI: A pandemic atlas: How COVID-19 took over the world in 2020.

ON THE HORIZON: On Thursday, a government advisory panel will consider whether to endorse emergency use of a second vaccine, this one made by Moderna.


Find AP’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at

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