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The Latest in COVID-19 News: Week Ending Mar. 13, 2021

NEJM Journal Watch

This week marked 1 year since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. And now, signs of light at the end of the tunnel: This week, the CDC issued its first set of guidelines for people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, allowing them to resume some lower-risk activities. In addition, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, together with the CDC, loosened restrictions on in-person nursing home visits.

Elsewhere, the National Institutes of Health recommended tocilizumab for certain hospitalized patients with COVID-19, while a monoclonal antibody combination was shown to lower the risk for COVID-19 hospitalization or death by 87% among high-risk outpatients.

In SARS-CoV-2 variant news, a U.K. study indicated higher mortality with the B.1.1.7 variant than with older versions of the virus, and researchers in Oregon found a case of B.1.1.7 with the E484K mutation, which makes the vaccines less effective.

Catch up on these and all of our COVID-19 stories from the past week at the links below.

What Our Editors Had to Say

Andre Sofair, MD, MPH: To me, the most welcome news of this week will be loosened restrictions for nursing home visits. This has been such a difficult time, both for nursing home residents and their loved ones, and I think both will be looking forward to getting back together in the near future.

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