Viking Call

Upper Merion High's Student Newspaper


February COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Timeline: Important Milestones (November 2020 – February 2021)

Throughout the winter, the world has made significant progress in combating this pandemic. Here are the various important COVID milestones from November 2020 to February 2021.

November 4 — US Reports Unprecedented 100,000 Cases in 1 Day

November 16 ­— Moderna Vaccine Is 94.5 % Effective

November 18 — Pfizer, BioNTech Vaccine Is 95% Effective

November 20 — CDC Warns Against Holiday Travel

November 23 — AstraZeneca Reports Vaccine Is 90% Effective

December 11 — FDA Agrees to EUA for Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine 

December 18 — FDA Signs Off on EUA for Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine

December 21 — New COVID-19 Variant Circling the UK

December 31 — US Distributes 14 Million Vaccines and Administers 2.8 Million Vaccines, Falling Short of 20 Million Vaccinations Goal by Year End

January 6 — New COVID Variant Emerges in USA (26 confirmed cases in CA, 22 in FL, 2 in CO, 1 in GO, and 1 in NY)

January 14 — Biden Unveils $1.9 Trillion Economic and Health-Care Relief Package

January 19 — U.S Passes 24 Million COVID Cases (Just 6 Days After Passing 23 Million Cases) and Passes 400,000 Deaths.

January 21 — President Biden Signs 10 COVID Response and Vaccination Executive Orders (Activating the Defense Production Act to Speed Up Vaccine Distribution)

Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic

In spite of these efforts, with recent outbreaks of new COVID strains throughout the world, many countries are struggling with suppressing the virus. As of right now, most countries have below 20,000 biweekly COVID deaths, meaning that these countries recorded less than 20,000 deaths from COVID in 2 weeks. However, the USA has been and still is the number one outlier of the entire world, recording about 45,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths in 2 weeks.

Furthermore, Pennsylvania has the 5th highest cumulative COVID-19 deaths out of all the states, recording about 22,000 deaths. Nevertheless, Pennsylvania is still better off than California, New York, and Texas, who not only have 35,000 – 42,000 cumulative deaths but also appear to have notably higher death rates.

Pennsylvania Vaccine Distribution Plan: 

The most effective way to combat this COVID pandemic is to get vaccinated, alongside wearing masks and social distancing. Pennsylvania is currently distributing vaccines to the general public according to the following timeline:

  • Phase 1A: Health Care and Senior Citizens
    • Long-term care facility residents
    • Health care personnel 
    • Persons ages 65 and older
    • Persons ages 16-64 with high-risk conditions
  • Phase 1B: People in Group Settings
    • First responders
    • Food and agricultural workers
    • U.S. Postal Service workers
    • Manufacturing workers  
    • Grocery store workers  
    • Education workers 
    • Public transit workers
  • Phase 1C: Essential Workers in…
    • Transportation and logistics
    • Water and wastewater
    • Food service
    • Housing construction
    • Finance, including bank tellers
    • Information technology
    • Communications
    • Energy, including nuclear reactors
    • Legal services
    • Government workers

Phase 2: All other individuals (16 and older)


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