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Covid updates: U.S. boosts at-home test production; UPS, FedEx ready vaccine contingency plans

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Maryland is now the second U.S. state with a reported case of the new, highly transmissible Covid-19 variant first found in South Africa, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed on Saturday. Health officials have voiced concerns about the South African variant, known as B.1.351, because preliminary research suggests vaccines may be less effective on the strain. Other variants also found in the U.S. have originated from Britain and Brazil. Pfizer and Moderna have said they're working on a booster shot for their vaccines that will hold up better against the B.1.351 strain.

Here are some of the biggest developments Monday:

The U.S. is recording at least 148,400 new Covid-19 cases and at least 3,100 virus-related deaths each day, based on a seven-day average calculated by CNBC using Johns Hopkins University data.

The following data was compiled by Johns Hopkins University:

  • Global cases: More than 103.33 million 
  • Global deaths: At least 2.23 million
  • U.S. cases: More than 26.29 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 442,962