Coverage on this live blog has ended, click here for NBC News' latest reporting on Covid-19.
Arizona, California and Rhode Island are among the hardest-hit places in the world at this stage of the pandemic, with the highest rates of Covid-19 infections per capita, according to a data analysis by NBC News.
The sobering figures highlight just how dire the situation is in the United States, particularly after a new, more contagious variant of the coronavirus emerged in several states.
- Map of U.S. hot spots and worldwide Covid-19 cases.
- Tracking surges in states across the country this winter.
- Map of travel restrictions and which states have a mask mandate.
- Click here for more of NBC News' Covid-19 coverage.
Mutant strain confirmed to be in Georgia, too
ATLANTA — Georgia officials say they have confirmed the state’s first case of the coronavirus variant that was first seen in the United Kingdom.
The Georgia Department of Health said Tuesday that lab tests found an 18-year-old Georgia man is infected with the variant. It says the man had no travel history and is in isolation at his home.
Cases of the United Kingdom variant have also been reported in Colorado, California, Florida and New York.
Georgia health officials say preliminary information suggests the variant is significantly more contagious. State health Commissioner Kathleen Toomey urged residents to continue wearing masks, practicing social distancing and washing their hands frequently.
Loss of smell and taste can linger after Covid or come back different
Before the pandemic, Dr. Jennifer Spicer used to savor waking up early. In those quiet morning hours, she'd get precious alone time with her dog and brew up a mug of her favorite coffee, using beans from an Atlanta roaster.
Now, she can barely take a sip without spitting the coffee out.
"I cannot even go in a coffee shop. It smells so bad," said Spicer, an assistant professor of infectious diseases at Emory University School of Medicine. "It's really awful."
The abrupt change in Spicer's senses has, by now, an all-too-common culprit: Covid-19.
A study published Wednesday in the Journal of Internal Medicine found that 86 percent of patients with mild forms of Covid-19 developed loss of sense of taste and smell, compared with 4 percent to 7 percent of those with moderate to severe cases.
China says still working on details of WHO Covid visit after criticism over delays
China said Wednesday it was still negotiating with the World Health Organization the dates and itinerary for a visit by international experts looking into origins of Covid-19, after the head of the agency criticized Beijing for not finalizing permissions for the mission.
The dates and itinerary need to be finalized, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing in Beijing.
An international team of experts had been due to visit the central city of Wuhan in January, where the pandemic first appeared a year ago. China has strongly opposed calls for an international inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus, saying such calls are anti-China, but has said it's open to a WHO-led investigation.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Tuesday that members of the international scientific team began departing from their home countries as part of an arrangement between WHO and the Chinese government. China however, didn't authorize their entry into the country.