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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Photo: Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

If you wear a mask, you're protecting yourself as well as others from COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in an update on Tuesday.

Why it matters: "Adopting universal masking policies can help avert future lockdowns, especially if combined with other non-pharmaceutical interventions such as social distancing, hand hygiene, and adequate ventilation," per the CDC.

"Experimental and epidemiological data support community masking to reduce the spread ... Individual benefit increases with increasing community mask use."
  • It is the strongest message yet on the importance of wearing face coverings to protect against the coronavirus.

Of note: Face masks became a partisan issue earlier in the year, but it has become less so as the pandemic rages on. Polls show a majority of Democrats and Republicans support wearing face coverings in public spaces.

  • President-elect Joe Biden has implored people to wear face coverings, saying on Monday: "A mask is not a political statement, but it is a good way to start pulling the country together."
  • President Trump and his allies have said the issue is one of individual responsibility.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases are surging across the U.S., which surpassed 10 million confirmed infections on Monday.

  • The U.S. hit a record-high 130,989 new cases on Tuesday, while the number of people in hospitals across the country with the virus reached a peak of 61,964.

Go deeper: Universal mask use could save 130,000 lives in U.S.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more details, including the stance of Biden and Trump on masks.

Go deeper

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Science helps New Zealand avoid another coronavirus lockdown

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (L) visits a lab at Auckland University in December. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand has avoided locking down for a second time over COVID-19 community cases because of a swift, science-led response.

Why it matters: The Health Ministry said in an email to Axios Friday there's "no evidence of community transmission" despite three people testing positive after leaving managed hotel isolation. That means Kiwis can continue to visit bars, restaurants and events as much of the world remains on lockdown.

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

J&J says its one-shot vaccine is 66% effective against moderate to severe COVID

Photo: Thiago Prudêncio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Johnson & Johnson announced Friday that its single-shot coronavirus vaccine was 66% effective in protecting against moderate to severe COVID-19 disease in Phase 3 trials, which was comprised of nearly 44,000 participants across eight countries.

Between the lines: The vaccine was 72% effective in the U.S., but only 57% effective in South Africa, where a more contagious variant has been spreading. It prevented 85% of severe infections and 100% of hospitalizations and deaths, according to the company.

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Germany to impose travel restrictions to curb spread of coronavirus variants

Border police officers check passports and COVID-19 tests at Frankfurt Airport. Photo: Thomas Lohnes via Getty Images

Germany announced Friday that it was imposing new travel restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of more contagious coronavirus variants.

Details: All non-German residents traveling from countries deemed "areas of variant concern," including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Portugal, Ireland, Brazil, Lesotho and Eswatini, will be banned from entering the country, even if they test negative for the coronavirus.

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