The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Confirmed U.S. covid-19 death toll reaches 20,000, highest in the world

Pastors across the country shared messages they will be telling their congregations during this Easter as most of the nation social distances due to covid-19. (Video: The Washington Post)
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The United States on Saturday has passed Italy for the most confirmed covid-19 deaths in the world, with more than 20,000 fatalities, a figure experts have called “an underestimation.” Much-smaller Italy has still lost more people per capita — roughly 31 of every 100,000 people there have been killed by the virus. If the death rate in the U.S. were to match that in Italy, more than 100,000 Americans would die.

The news comes as Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said he hopes for “a real degree of normality” by November.

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Here are some significant developments:

  • Abortion providers have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene after Texas banned the procedure during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • A federal judge has blocked Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer from banning drive-in church services on Easter.
  • President Trump has rejected potential emergency funding for the U.S. Postal Service, which has suffered financially during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is sick with covid-19, “continues to make very good progress."
  • New York’s governor and New York City’s mayor are again feuding, this time over school closings.

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Coronavirus: What you need to know

Vaccines: The CDC recommends that everyone age 5 and older get an updated covid booster shot. New federal data shows adults who received the updated shots cut their risk of being hospitalized with covid-19 by 50 percent. Here’s guidance on when you should get the omicron booster and how vaccine efficacy could be affected by your prior infections.

New covid variant: The XBB.1.5 variant is a highly transmissible descendant of omicron that is now estimated to cause about half of new infections in the country. We answered some frequently asked questions about the bivalent booster shots.

Guidance: CDC guidelines have been confusing — if you get covid, here’s how to tell when you’re no longer contagious. We’ve also created a guide to help you decide when to keep wearing face coverings.

Where do things stand? See the latest coronavirus numbers in the U.S. and across the world. In the U.S., pandemic trends have shifted and now White people are more likely to die from covid than Black people. Nearly nine out of 10 covid deaths are people over the age 65.

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