The United States reported more than 4,200 deaths Tuesday, bringing the nation’s total to more than 381,000 deaths since the onset of the pandemic, according to Washington Post data. The single-day death total, which is a record, and peak levels of new infections and hospitalizations are grim milestones for a country still reeling from the attempted insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week. President Trump has announced sweeping changes to coronavirus vaccine rollouts, quickly making all vaccine supplies accessible, encouraging states to provide shots to residents 65 and older and cautioning states with slow vaccine rollouts that they could lose some of their supply to faster-moving states.

Here are some significant developments:
  • Scientists at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center and College of Medicine have discovered a new variant of the virus that is similar to the mutation found in the United Kingdom but probably originated in the United States, researchers announced Wednesday. The new mutations challenge scientists to determine whether they will cause vaccines and therapeutic approaches to be less effective, according to one of the lead researchers.
  • Texas became the second state to record 2 million coronavirus infections since the start of the pandemic, the Houston Chronicle reported. California reached that figure in December.
  • New, more transmissible variations of the coronavirus have popped up in Britain, South Africa and Brazil, prompting scientists to learn more about how those variants might be causing a worldwide increase in infections, the New York Times reported. On Sunday, Japan announced that it had discovered a new variant in four travelers arriving from Brazil.
  • New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) confirmed Wednesday that 15 cases of the U.K. variant have been detected in his state. New Mexico also announced its first case of the variant.
  • A one-dose vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson is safe and generates an immune response to the coronavirus in nearly all people who received the vaccine in a trial, according to data published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

More than 92 million people around the world have been infected with the coronavirus since it emerged in Wuhan, China, in December 2019 and more than 1.9 million have died, according to Post data.

Increasing infections, deaths and virus mutations are pushing world leaders to implement new approaches to quell the impact of the virus.

Switzerland on Wednesday announced firmer restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the virus and its mutations, banning events and closing restaurants and nightlife establishments while avoiding a full lockdown, Reuters reported.