S&P 500   3,841.94
DOW   31,496.30
QQQ   308.68
pixel
pixel
pixel
S&P 500   3,841.94
DOW   31,496.30
QQQ   308.68
pixel
pixel
pixel
S&P 500   3,841.94
DOW   31,496.30
QQQ   308.68
pixel
pixel
pixel
S&P 500   3,841.94
DOW   31,496.30
QQQ   308.68
pixel
pixel
pixel
Log in

The Latest: UK coronavirus variant found in Alabama

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 | The Associated Press


North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper speaks during a briefing on North Carolina's coronavirus pandemic response Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021 at the NC Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh, N.C. (Travis Long/The News & Observer via AP)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama health officials said Wednesday that the more highly transmissible COVID-19 variant seen in the United Kingdom has been found in the state.

The Alabama Department of Public Health said the variant is thought to be more contagious. It is the first time the variant has been identified in the state, although it has been detected in at least 24 other states, including Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina.

The variant was first detected in the United Kingdom in late 2020.

Health officials said the variant was found in two children and one adult in Alabama. Two cases are in Montgomery County and one is in Jefferson.

This variant is associated with increased person-to-person transmission of COVID-19, but state health officials said it “has not definitively been linked to worse outcomes of the disease.”

___

THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

The Biden administration is projecting as many as 90,000 Americans will die from the coronavirus in the next four weeks. The 27-nation EU is coming under criticism for the slow rollout of its vaccination campaign. AstraZeneca and EU to meet in Brussels to talk over vaccine production delays. U.S. boosting vaccine deliveries amid complaints of shortages. IOC, Tokyo Olympics to unveil rule book for beating pandemic.

— Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

___

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

TORONTO — Canadian Prime Minister says the President of the European Commission has reassured him any vaccine export controls the EU enacts won’t impact shipments of Canada’s doses from Europe.

Trudeau says he spoke to EU President Ursula von der Leyen who he says told him transparency measures taken by the EU will not affect Canada’s Pfizer and Moderna vaccine deliveries from Europe.

The EU has threatened to impose export controls on vaccines produced within its borders, and warned pharmaceutical companies that have developed coronavirus vaccines with EU aid that it must get its shots on schedule. All of Canada’s Pfizer and Moderna vaccines come from Europe.

Canada isn’t getting any deliveries of the Pfizer vaccine made in Europe this week, shipments are set to resume next week.

___

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Oklahoma State Department of Health will receive an approximately 16% increase in coronavirus vaccine per week during the next three weeks, deputy state health commissioner Keith Reed said Tuesday.

The announcement comes on the same day the health department reported a new one-day record of 65 deaths due to COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.

The increase in vaccines is in line with President Joe Biden’s announcement that the U.S. is ramping up deliveries of the vaccine to provide enough doses for 300 million Americans by the end of the summer or early fall. Oklahoma expects to receive just more than 103,000 doses per week from the federal government, an increase from just under 85,000 last week, Reed said.

“This allows us to take a look at what’s going to happen the next three weeks, it helps us to understand how much vaccine supply we have that we can support bringing on some other pandemic providers,” such as local pharmacies, to provide vaccinations, Reed said.

The record increase of 65 deaths is three more than the previous one-day record reported on Jan. 6, according to health department records. The health department also reported 2,686 new virus cases Wednesday for totals of 3,388 deaths and 379,110 cases since the pandemic began.

___

RALEIGH, N.C. --- Gov. Roy Cooper on Wednesday extended a trio of executive orders allowing for curbside alcohol sales, a halt to evictions and a requirement for people to remain at home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

North Carolina’s modified stay-at-home directive that was set to expire on Friday will now remain in place until Feb. 28, while the eviction moratorium and allowance for the sale of “to-go” or delivery of mixed beverages remains in place through March 31.

The Democratic governor’s extensions come as prominent state Republicans expressed their frustrations over a new coronavirus vaccine distribution strategy from Cooper’s administration that critics argue has prioritized speed over equity.

During a news conference, Cooper reiterated his desire to distribute the doses received by President Joe Biden’s administration quickly and equitably.

“The top priority in our state is getting vaccines to people as quickly and as equitably as possible,” Cooper said. “As of today, North Carolina has administered 99.8% of all the first doses that we have received from the federal government.”

Top Republican lawmakers on Wednesday signaled more scrutiny of the vaccine rollout.

Senate leader Phil Berger told reporters it makes no sense why state officials couldn’t distribute doses to ensure vaccine appointments occur as scheduled. Instead, Berger said, some older residents whose appointments were canceled may have to wait a month longer to obtain a shot.

___

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan and the Washtenaw County Health Department asked students Wednesday to avoid leaving their residences to slow the spread of COVID-19 and a more contagious variant.

There have been 175 COVID-19 cases in the student population since the new semester started on Jan. 19 and 14 of those cases have been a variant, according to a news release from the Washtenaw County Health Department.

The stay-in-place recommendation is effective immediately and will run through Feb. 7. The university and county health department are asking students to limit leaving their residence to going to classes, getting food, work and other necessary in-person activities.

The health department said in the news release that if the case counts continues to rise, stricter measures will have to be applied.

The recommendation came just days after the state health department recommended the university pause all athletics after several individuals linked to athletics tested positive for COVID-19 and the university complied.

___

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin will become one of only 10 states without statewide mask mandates if the Assembly votes as scheduled Thursday to overturn Gov. Tony Evers’ order, but masks will still be required in some of its largest cities thanks to local ordinances.

More than two dozen public health organizations, as well as state and local health officials, have urged the Republican-controlled Legislature to reconsider the scheduled vote. Wearing masks is one of the pillars of recommendations from health experts worldwide to slow the spread of the coronavirus, along with physically distancing and avoiding crowds.

The move comes as Wisconsin lags in distribution of coronavirus vaccines, health officials warn about the spread of contagious new variants and total deaths due to COVID-19 near 6,000.

Republican lawmakers contend that Evers exceeded his authority by issuing multiple health emergencies, and mask orders, rather than coming to the Legislature for approval every 60 days.

TORONTO — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the President of the European Commission has reassured him any vaccine export controls the EU enacts won’t impact shipments of Canada’s doses from Europe.

Trudeau says he spoke to EU President Ursula von der Leyen who he says told him transparency measures taken by the EU will not affect Canada’s Pfizer and Moderna vaccine deliveries from Europe.

The EU has threatened to impose export controls on vaccines produced within its borders, and warned pharmaceutical companies that have developed coronavirus vaccines with EU aid that it must get its shots on schedule. All of Canada’s Pfizer and Moderna vaccines come from Europe.

Canada isn’t getting any deliveries of the Pfizer vaccine made in Europe this week, shipments are set to resume next week.

___

O’FALLON, Mo. — Republican Gov. Mike Parson's spokeswoman said Wednesday that the state plans to divert thousands of unused doses of coronavirus vaccine from CVS and Walgreens pharmacies to other state-enrolled vaccinators in Missouri to help the slower-than-expected vaccination process.

Spokeswoman Kelli Jones said the administration has requested the return of 25,000 doses from CVS and Walgreens, which would then be re-routed to county health departments, medical hospitals and clinics and hundreds of other state-approved vaccinators.

CVS and Walgreens were tasked with providing vaccinations at long-term care facilities under a Trump administration plan unveiled in December. Jones said Missouri’s new plan won’t affect shots for workers and residents at those facilities that have been ravaged by COVID-19.

___

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is projecting as many as 90,000 Americans will die from the coronavirus in the next four weeks.

That warning came Wednesday as the administration held its first televised science briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic. In the briefing, experts outlined efforts to improve the delivery and injection of vaccines.

The administration is examining additional ways of speeding vaccine production, a day after President Joe Biden announced the U.S. plans to have delivered enough doses for 300 million Americans by the end of summer.

Top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci says there’s concern about virus variants. But he says vaccines provide a “cushion” of effectiveness, adding the government was working with pharmaceutical companies on potential “booster” shots for the new variants.

The Biden administration is asking citizens to recommit to social distancing measures and mask-wearing, pointing to scientific models that suggest those practices could save 50,000 lives over the coming months.

___

LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has indicated that the coronavirus lockdown in England will remain in place until at least March 8.

In a statement to lawmakers, Johnson also confirmed new restrictions for travelers arriving in England from countries deemed to be high-risk. He says the U.K. remains in a “perilous situation” with more than 37,000 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, nearly double the number during the previous peak in April.

While dashing any hopes that students would return to classrooms after a mid-February school break, Johnson says the March 8 aspiration is based on progress on the vaccination front.

On Tuesday, the U.K. became the fifth country to record more than 100,000 coronavirus-related deaths.

___

JOHANNESBURG — South Africa is preparing to roll out its first vaccines to the country’s frontline health care workers.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says a delivery of 1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to arrive at Johannesburg’s international airport on Monday. There are plans for shots to be given to doctors and nurses starting in mid-February. Mkhize says South Africa intends to vaccinate 67% of its 60 million people in 2021, starting with the most vulnerable health care workers.

South Africa has 1.4 million confirmed cases and 41,797 deaths, representing about 40% of the cases reported by all of Africa’s 54 countries.

___

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma has reported a new one-day record of 65 deaths from COVID-19.

The previous one-day record of 62 was reported Jan. 6, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

The department also reported 2,686 new cases Wednesday for totals of 3,388 confirmed deaths and 379,110 cases since the start of the pandemic.

___

NEW ORLEANS — Coronavirus restrictions on public gatherings are easing a bit in New Orleans, but bars in the city will stay closed through the Mardi Gras season. City officials say a ban on public events will be eased Friday. Indoor gatherings of up to 10 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people will be allowed. Capacity limits on restaurants -- and bars that provide restaurant food service -- will go from 25% to 50%.

Also, New Orleans education officials said students in kindergarten through eighth grade will begin returning to class on Monday. Most high school students will continue online learning until later in February.

The easing of restrictions comes as local authorities report that the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests has dropped below 5%. Statewide hospitalization numbers also have been falling in recent weeks.

___

WASHINGTON — White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients says it’s essential that Congress pass President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 relief bill to keep the momentum on vaccinations and more testing capacity to contain the virus.

Zients says the administration is committed to delivering on Biden’s goal of 100 million shots in 100 days, and more if doable. But his top aide, Andy Slavitt, also says 500 million shots would be needed to vaccinate all Americans 16 and older.

Biden’s “American Rescue Plan” has a total price tag of $1.9 trillion, which is making some Republicans in Congress balk. But most of the cost is to shore up the economy.

About $400 billion is for measures specifically aimed at controlling the virus, including dramatically increasing the pace of vaccinations and building out an infrastructure for widespread testing.

___

WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci says there’s reason to be concerned about the impact of some coronavirus mutations on vaccines, but scientists have plenty of options for adjustments to maintain the effectiveness of vaccines and treatments.

The government’s top infectious disease expert says there’s particular concern about the so-called South African variant, because lab tests have shown that it can diminish the protective power of the vaccines approved to date.

However, Fauci stressed the level of protection provided was still well within what he called the “cushion” of vaccine effectiveness.

Fauci says one vaccine that’s still in testing is being measured for effectiveness against the South African variant and another strain that has emerged in Brazil. He called that a promising development.

___

WASHINGTON — White House Coronavirus Coordinator Jeff Zients is saying in the Biden administration’s first formal briefing on the pandemic that officials will always hew to the science and level with the public.

Rochelle Walensky, the new head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says her agency’s latest forecast indicates the U.S. will record between 479,000 to 514,000 deaths by Feb. 20.

Zients says the federal Department of Health and Human Services is acting Wednesday to make more professionals available to administer vaccinations. The government will authorize nurses and doctors who have retired to administer vaccines, and professionals licensed in one state will be able to administer shots in other states. Such measures are fairly standard in health emergencies.

The U.S. leads the world with 25.4 million confirmed cases and more than 425,000 deaths.

___

APELDOORN, Netherlands — The 27-nation EU is coming under criticism for the slow rollout of its vaccination campaign.

The bloc, a collection of many of the richest countries in the world, is not faring well in comparison to countries like Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States. While Israel has given at least one shot of a two-dose vaccine to over 40% of its population and that figure in Britain is 10%, the EU total stands at just over 2%.

Onerous regulations and paperwork in some countries and poor planning in others have contributed to the delay, as did a more deliberate authorization process for the shots. Some drugmakers say they won’t be able to meet their initial vaccine doses because of problems in expanding production capacity.


7 Penny Stocks That Don’t Care About Robinhood

By the time you read this Vladimir Tenev, the CEO of the trading app Robinhood, will be testifying in front of Congress. The company’s role in the GameStop (NYSE:GME) short squeeze will be called into question.

However, the real issue at stake is the right of traders to buy and sell the equities of their choice. In the case of Robinhood, some traders are buying a lot of penny stocks. While definitions vary, penny stocks are generally considered stocks that are trading for less than $10 per share. These stocks are largely ignored by the investment community.

One reason is that many of these stocks are cheap for a reason. For example, the company may have a business model that is out of date. In other cases, they operate in a very small, niche market that doesn’t drive a lot of revenue.

And most of these stocks are ignored by the investment community. They simply aren’t considered significant enough to spend time debating.

But some penny stocks do have the attention of Wall Street. And they’re being largely ignored by the day trading community. The focus of this special presentation is to direct you to penny stocks that have a story that the “smart money” thinks will eventually be trading at much higher prices.

And that’s why you should be looking at them now.

View the "7 Penny Stocks That Don’t Care About Robinhood".

Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of analysts' upgrades, downgrades and new coverage with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.