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Countries across the world are preparing to begin giving citizens Covid-19 vaccines, as cases continue to rise across the United States. California, which reported over 30,000 new coronavirus cases in one day, stay-at-home orders were set to go into effect for Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley after both regions fell under the 15 percent intensive-care unit capacity benchmark.
Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of congressional lawmakers negotiating a $908 billion Covid-19 relief bill is unlikely to meet a self-imposed Monday deadline to release the bill's text, sources told NBC News. Instead, the group is aiming to release a more detailed outline Monday and is working to complete bill text for Tuesday, according to three sources familiar with the discussions.
- 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.
British woman becomes world's first to receive approved Covid-19 vaccine
A woman in the English city of Coventry has become the first person to get a clinically approved Covid-19 vaccine. Margaret Keenan, 90, received the Pfizer-BioNTech shot Tuesday after the British government became the first to give it regulatory approval last week.
"I feel so privileged to be the first person vaccinated against Covid-19," the grandmother of four, who turns 91 next week, told reporters. "It's the best early birthday present I could wish for because it means I can finally look forward to spending time with my family and friends in the new year after being on my own for most of the year."
Keenan's inoculation kicks off what's been described as the largest vaccination campaign ever attempted by Britain's publicly funded National Health Service. The United States Food and Drug Administration is expected to discuss regulatory approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine this week.
Western Australia opens up to air travel after easing of coronavirus restrictions
Pelosi references dead in Pearl Harbor, WWII in letter on Covid fight
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a letter to colleagues Monday referred to those killed in the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack and the Americans killed in combat in World War II in calling for unity in the fight against the coronavirus.
"Today, our country is under a different but deadly assault — this time, from the coronavirus," Pelosi wrote. "Tragically, now, our country is on a path to exceed the number of American deaths recorded during World War II."
As of Monday night, there have been more than 284,000 Covid-19 deaths in the United States, according to NBC News' count. For most days in December, there have been more than 2,000 deaths reported, with several days with more deaths than those killed in the Pearl Harbor attack, according to that count.
How to protect yourself as the pandemic gets worse
Kentucky honors the more than 2,000 in state who have died
The more than 2,000 residents in Kentucky who have died from Covid-19 were honored in a ceremony Monday in front of the State Capitol Building in Frankfort.
As of Monday, there have been 2,082 deaths and more than 202,500 cases in the state, according to the state health department.
"These are our fathers and mothers, our brothers and sisters, our grandparents and our neighbors," Gov. Andy Beshear said at the service. He called on those in Kentucky to help protect their neighbors and communities.
D.C. to give $1,200 payments to some
Washington D.C.'s mayor on Monday announced $1,200 payments available to people who are about to run out of pandemic unemployment relief, which is set to expire at the end of the month.
About 20,000 district residents will benefit from the program, which applies to those who are eligible for and applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Mayor Muriel Bowser said. The PUA program affects the self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers and others who don't qualify for traditional unemployment benefits.
The money for the one-time $1,200 program will be funded through part of the district's CARES Act funding, which was passed by Congress in March, Bowser said.
A number of emergency relief benefits surrounding the pandemic are set to expire at the end of the month. Congress is trying to negotiate another round of Covid-19 relief, which could include unemployment benefits.
Husband of Colorado governor in hospital
Marlon Reis, the husband of Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, was in a hospital Monday being treated for Covid-19, Polis' office said in a statement.
Reis had normal oxygen saturation and was in good spirits, Polis' office said Monday. He was taken to a hospital Sunday night with shortness of breath and a worsening cough.
Polis and Reis tested positive for Covid-19 on Nov. 28. Reis has received dexamethasone, which is a steroid, and the antiviral remdesivir but has not needed supplemental oxygen, Polis's office said. The governor was not experiencing any symptoms Monday, his office said. Polis tweeted that Colorado's first gentleman was looking forward to returning home soon.
Nursing homes are a top priority for Covid vaccines. But vaccinating everyone won't be simple.
Nursing home residents and staff members will be among the first people in the United States to receive the coronavirus vaccine.
But there are significant challenges to overcome before the vaccine is broadly administered to this high-risk population, which has been hit harder than any other by the pandemic.
The federal government has contracted with CVS and Walgreens to distribute the vaccine to long-term care facilities and open on-site clinics to vaccinate residents. That’s no small logistical feat, but it’s far from the only hurdle this mass vaccination effort faces.