NATIONAL NEWS: US virus surge sends states, schools into retreat; States ramp up for biggest vaccination effort in US history


By The Associated Press

The coast-to-coast resurgence of the coronavirus in the U.S. is sending deaths, hospitalizations and new infections soaring. The crisis is deepening at hospitals.


The situation is so dire in North Dakota that the governor this week said nurses who test positive but have no symptoms can still work. Idaho clinics are struggling to handle the deluge of phone calls from patients.


School systems in Detroit, Indianapolis, Philadelphia and suburban Minneapolis are giving up on in-person classes, and some governors are reimposing restrictions on bars and restaurants or getting more serious about masks, Michelle R. Smith and Sean Murphy report.


Vaccination Drive: With a COVID-19 vaccine drawing closer, public health officials are gearing up for the biggest vaccination effort in U.S. history. It will be a monumental undertaking to distribute hundreds of millions of doses, prioritize who’s first in line and ensure that people who get the initial shot return for the necessary second one.


The push could begin as early as next month when federal officials say the first vaccine may be authorized for emergency use and deployed to high-risk groups such as health care workers. Dr. Anthony Fauci says he hopes shots will be available to all Americans in April, May and June, Candice Choi and Michelle R. Smith report.