5 things to know about the coronavirus today: $900B relief bill, the elation of recovery

It is Monday, Dec. 21, 2020 and these are five things to know about the coronavirus pandemic today.

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Congress seals deal on $900B relief bill

Top negotiators in Congress sealed a deal Sunday on a $900 billion COVID-19 economic relief package, which will deliver help to businesses and individuals and provide money for vaccines. The agreement would establish a temporary $300 per week supplemental jobless benefit and a $600 direct stimulus payment to most Americans, along with a new round of subsidies for hard-hit businesses and money for schools, health care providers and renters facing eviction.

ExploreCongress seals agreement on $900 billion COVID relief bill

More than 5,900 start vaccine in 1st week in Ohio

In the first week, 5,930 people in Ohio received the first of two doses of the coronavirus vaccine, according to Ohio Department of Health data through Saturday, which the state reported Sunday. Local health departments are scheduled to receive their first batches of the vaccine this week, Ohio scheduled to get its second Pfizer shipment. Ohio also will get its first shipment from Moderna, which is stable at regular freezer temperatures unlike the Pfizer vaccine, which requires ultra-cold storage.

ExploreCoronavirus: More than 5,900 start vaccination in first week in Ohio

Coronavirus: The elation of recovery

COVID patients in the ICU, after the worst of the infection is behind them, have to work hard physically and emotionally to build up stamina before they can be discharged from the hospital. But then, that moment arrives. “They’re just so excited when they get to open their doors and they’re not in isolation anymore. They honestly will just cry and be like, ‘I never thought what was going to happen, you know?’” says RN Kendra Grilliot at the Dayton VA hospital.

ExploreCoronavirus: 14 states make travel advisory, including Ohio

What are health experts doing to convince vaccine skeptics?

A coronavirus vaccine has been heralded as key to returning to some semblance of normal life, but public health experts first will need to convince most Americans to take it for it to be effective. “The biggest tragedy would be that we would have lots and lots of doses of very effective vaccines and then people not getting it,” said Dr. Robert W. Frenck Jr., director of the Center for Vaccine Research at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

ExploreCoronavirus vaccine: Some remain skeptical. What are health experts doing to convince them?

Travel advisory covers 14 states, including Ohio

The most recent travel advisory covers 14 states, including Ohio itself for the third straight week. Anyone traveling to Ohio from a state on the advisory should quarantine for 14 days, according to Ohio Department of Health. The full list includes: Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Utah. Also, out-of-state travelers should avoid visiting Ohio.

ExploreCoronavirus: 14 states make travel advisory, including Ohio

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