VIRUS TODAY: Nursing home residents can get hugs again

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

THE NUMBERS:

VACCINES: More than 62.4 million people, or 18.8% of the U.S. population, have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some 32.9 million people have completed their vaccination, or 9.9% of the population.

CASES: According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the seven-day rolling average for daily new cases in the U.S. decreased over the past two weeks from 67,713 on Feb. 23 to 55,844 on Tuesday.

DEATHS: According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the seven-day rolling average for daily new deaths in the U.S. decreased over the past two weeks from 1,986 on Feb. 23 to 1,566 on Tuesday.

STATE VACCINATION RATES: According to the CDC, the percentage of population that received at least one dose of vaccine: New Mexico (26.1%); Connecticut (25.8%); Alaska (25.7%). Lowest rates: Alabama (15.7%); District of Columbia (14.9%); Georgia (13.4%).

THREE THINGS TO KNOW TODAY

— Congress sent President Joe Biden the landmark $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, which tackles the coronavirus pandemic and economic crises that have upended the nation. Most noticeable to many Americans are provisions providing up to $1,400 direct payments this year to most adults and extending $300 weekly emergency unemployment benefits into early September. But the legislation goes far beyond that.

— New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced restaurants, gyms, salons and other indoor recreational activities in his state can increase their capacity to 50%, up from 35%.

— Texas’ coronavirus restrictions ended despite objections from public health officials as more migrants cross the U.S.-Mexico border. Texas is now fully open, allowing full capacity in restaurants and bars and large gatherings.

QUOTABLE: “The truth is, I want my job back.” — Boston hotel worker Esther Montanez, who like millions, has used savings, unemployment and food stamps since the arrival of the coronavirus.

ICYMI: Nursing home residents can get hugs again. The government says nursing home residents vaccinated against COVID-19 can get indoor visits from family with masks.

ON THE HORIZON: As New Orleans eases virus rules, entertainment venues can start hosting live music this weekend, with some restrictions.

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Find AP’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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