VIRUS TODAY: More hospital ICUs edge nearer a breaking point

VIRUS TODAY: More hospital ICUs edge nearer a breaking point


Here’s what’s happening Sunday with the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.:


— Straining to handle record numbers of COVID-19 patients, hundreds of the nation’s intensive care units are running out of space, supplies and staff. An Associated Press analysis of federal hospital data shows that since November, the share of U.S. hospitals nearing the breaking point has doubled. More than 40% of Americans now live in areas running out of ICU space — many of the facilities clustered in the South and West.

— The Chicago Teachers Union said its members voted to defy an order to return to the classroom over concerns about COVID-19, setting up a showdown with district officials. Chicago Public Schools, the nation’s third-largest district, wanted roughly 10,000 kindergarten-through-eighth-grade teachers and other staffers to return to school Monday to get ready to welcome back roughly 70,000 students.

— A Sunday basketball game between the University of Michigan's 11th-ranked women's team and Purdue was one of several athletic events abruptly canceled after positive tests for the new COVID-19 variant among individuals linked to Michigan’s athletic department. The state’s Department of Health and Human Services issued a mandate on Saturday pausing all athletics at the school. The entire department could be in quarantine for two weeks.

THE NUMBERS: The U.S. is averaging more than 176,000 new cases and about 3,100 deaths each day. The nation’s death toll since the start of the pandemic stands at about 418,000.

QUOTABLE: “Someone out there or someone inside was creating a parallel set of data and graphics that were shown to the president." — Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force, on...

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