COVID-19: Track the latest developments and look back at how the pandemic evolved

Timeline will be updated as new information is announced.

It's challenging to keep up with the latest developments in the COVID-19 pandemic and the status of the vaccine that could potentially end it. Whether it’s the rapidly climbing number of hospitalized patients, changes in local and state guidelines, or the date a life-saving vaccine will be available, new information seems to be arriving daily, if not hourly.

This timeline, which will be updated frequently, will help you keep track of the latest developments.

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Jan. 21: President Joe Biden announces a national strategy for COVID-19 response that includes support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) which will establish vaccination centers, train vaccinators and serve as liaisons for each state; directives to the departments of Education and Health and Human Services to provide guidance and resources to reopen schools and childcare centers; the establishment of a COVID-19 testing board; mandatory testing and quarantine for travelers coming to the U.S. from other countries; and a request that all Americans wear masks for the next 100 days, which Biden calls "a patriotic act" that can save 50,000 lives.

Jan. 20: On his first day in office, President Biden signs executive orders requiring masks and physical distancing at all federal buildings and lands, including national parks and forests; establishing a federal COVID-19 coordinator; and restoring the National Security Council's global health security team.

Jan. 19: U.S. death toll from COVID-19 tops 400,000.

California tops 3 million confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Los Angeles County Public Health officials announce the opening of five new large-scale vaccination sites, including The Forum in Inglewood, Fairplex in Pomona and Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia.

Jan. 16: Los Angeles County surpasses 1 million cases of COVID-19.

Jan. 15: The worldwide COVID-19 death toll tops 2 million.

Jan. 14: Calling the U.S. vaccine rollout "a dismal failure," president-elect Joe Biden pledges to commit $400 billion to fight the pandemic, including the administration of 100 million vaccine doses during his first 100 days in office and the opening of most kindergarten-through-eighth-grade schools during that same period.

Jan. 13: The U.S. reaches 4,400 COVID-19 deaths in a single day.

Jan. 12: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announces that, beginning Jan. 26, all international airline passengers bound for the United States must be tested for coronavirus within three days of their departure and show proof of negative results before boarding their flight.

Federal government tells states to begin vaccinating all Americans age 65 and older to help stem the surge of COVID-19 cases, adding that vaccine supply held in reserve to provide required second doses will be released immediately.

Jan. 11: Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer advises essential workers – those who leave their home daily for work – as well as people who regularly run errands for family, to wear masks inside their own homes to avoid spreading COVID-19 to family members.

Jan. 7: U.S. surpasses 4,000 daily COVID-19 deaths.

Jan. 6: U.S. reports a daily record 3,964 COVID-19 deaths.

Jan. 4: Britain announces a nationwide lockdown amid a spike in COVID-19 cases linked to the mutated strain.

Jan. 3: Total of U.S. deaths from COVID-19 surpasses 350,000.

Jan. 2: Los Angeles County tops 800,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19. It took 10 months to reach 400,000, on Nov. 30, but just more than a month to double that total.

Jan. 1: U.S. surpasses 20 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.


Dec. 30: Los Angeles County surpasses 10,000 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom says the mutated coronavirus strain responsible for the majority of new COVID-19 infections in the U.K. has been identified in Southern California.

Britain becomes the first country to grant emergency use authorization to the COVID-19 vaccine developed by drug maker AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.

Dec. 29: California health officials announce the stay-at-home order for Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley will remain in effect as ICU beds remain exceedingly scarce. The order will be in effect for at least three weeks.

A mutated strain of the coronavirus responsible for the majority of new COVID-19 infections in the U.K. is identified in the U.S. for the first time, in a Denver patient.

Dec. 23: Pfizer and BioNTech reach an agreement with the U.S. government to supply the country with 100 million more doses of their COVID-19 vaccine by the end of July.

Dec. 22: Los Angeles County surpasses 9,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths.

Dec. 21: France and other members of the European Union restrict travelers from Britain over fears that a more-transmissible variant of coronavirus is spreading through London and surrounding areas.

Dec. 18: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration grants emergency use authorization to the COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna, with doses expected to ship immediately. 

U.S. tops 17.2 million confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Dec. 17: An FDA advisory panel, made up of scientists and infectious disease specialists, recommends the approval of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Dec. 16: UCLA Health begins administering Pfizer vaccines to health care workers.

Dec. 15: Pfizer vaccines begin arriving at UCLA Health.

In a review posted online, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration praises the efficacy and safety of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. A panel of experts is expected to advise the FDA, Thursday, on whether to grant emergency use authorization to the vaccine.

Dec. 14: First COVID-19 vaccine is administered, at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, N.Y. The US death toll from COVID-19 surpasses 300,000.

Dec. 13: Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup confirms safety and efficacy of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, allowing distribution to go forward in California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

Dec. 12: Trucks stocked with the Pfizer vaccine begin rolling out for delivery to nearly 150 sites across the country.

Dec. 11: The FDA approves emergency use authorization for Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, allowing nationwide distribution to begin.

Dec. 10: A panel of scientists and infectious disease specialists that advises the FDA formally recommends that the agency grant emergency use authorization to the Pfizer vaccine.

Dec. 8: The U.S. tops 15 million confirmed COVID-19 cases. The U.K. delivers its first COVID-19 vaccine, manufactured by Pfizer/BioNTech. It's the first vaccine given outside of a clinical trial.

Dec. 7: Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner announces that schools will close on Dec. 10 for the remainder of 2020. This move will affect the 1% of L.A. Unified students, about 4,000, who have been receiving services on campus, including kindergarteners and students with special needs. Classes for all students will continue online.

Gov. Newsom announces a statewide, voluntary cellphone-based program launching Dec. 10 that notifies residents if a recent close contact has tested positive for COVID-19.

Dec. 6: ICU bed capacity of less than 15% in Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley trigger the state's three-week stay-at-home order for both regions, effective at 11:59 p.m.

Dec. 3: Gov. Newsom announces a modified 21-day statewide shutdown targeting counties facing shortages of hospital beds and other critical care services. President-elect Biden tells CNN he plans to ask Americans to wear masks for his first 100 days in office.

Dec. 2: The U.S. reports its largest single-day COVID-19 death toll since the start of the pandemic: more than 3,000. Britain issues emergency authorization for the Pfizer vaccine.

Dec. 1: The Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices advises the CDC that health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities should be first in line for COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S.


Nov. 30: Moderna seeks emergency use authorization from the FDA for its COVID-19 vaccine. Confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S.: More than 13.4 million.

Nov. 23: AstraZeneca announces that early data show its COVID-19 vaccine to be at least 70% effective. Confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S: 12.4 million.

Nov. 20: Pfizer seeks emergency use authorization from the FDA for its COVID-19 vaccine.

Nov. 18: The U.S. surpasses 250,000 COVID-19 deaths.

Nov. 17: The FDA authorizes the first at-home, prescription coronavirus test.

Nov. 16: Moderna reports preliminary data show COVID-19 vaccine is more than 94% effective.

Gov. Newsom orders most non-essential businesses statewide to close and health officials say Californians must wear masks outside their homes.

Nov. 15: There are more than 11 million confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S.

Nov. 13: The U.S. adds more than 184,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, the fourth consecutive day the country has set a record for daily infection diagnoses.

Nov. 12: California surpasses 1 million diagnosed COVID-19 cases.

Nov. 9: Pfizer announces preliminary results of its vaccine tests that indicate it’s 90% effective in preventing COVID-19. There are 10 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S.

Nov. 8: Diagnosed COVID-19 cases worldwide top 50 million.


Oct. 22: Remdesivir becomes the first drug approved by the FDA to treat COVID-19.

Oct. 1: President Donald Trump announces he has tested positive for coronavirus.


Sept. 28: The worldwide coronavirus death toll tops 1 million.

Sept. 22: The coronavirus death toll in the U.S. tops 200,000.


Aug. 31: The U.S. reports more than 6 million diagnosed COVID-19 cases. California reports 700,000.

Aug. 10: There are more than 20 million coronavirus cases worldwide, with more than 5 million in the U.S.

Aug. 7: California reports more than 10,000 COVID-19 deaths.


July 27: Pfizer and Moderna begin large-scale trials of potential COVID-19 vaccines with around 30,000 volunteers each.

July 13: Gov. Newsom orders all bars to close statewide, along with indoor dining and movie theaters.

July 11: The World Health Organization acknowledges that airborne transmission of coronavirus is possible.


June 29: Los Angeles County officials announce beaches will be closed for the July 4 holiday weekend. The county becomes the first in the nation to announce 100,000 coronavirus diagnoses.

June 18: Gov. Newsom issues a statewide mask mandate.

Thermal camera installed at entrance to UCLA Health medical building.

June 16: UCLA Health installs thermal cameras at medical-building entrances to quickly scan for fevers.

June 1: Los Angeles County allows restaurants and hair salons to reopen for some in-person services.


May 6: UCLA Health begins in-house serology testing for COVID-19.

May 1: Remdesivir receives emergency use authorization to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients.


April 16: UCLA Health implements universal masking.

April 3: CDC and White House Coronavirus Task Force recommend Americans use face coverings in public.

Universal masking procedures

April 1: Gov. Newsom announces California schools will be closed for the remainder of the academic year.


March 31: UCLA Health begins involvement in clinical trials for COVID-19 treatments.

March 27: Los Angeles County beaches close. Disneyland and Disney World close.

March 19: Gov. Newsom issues statewide shelter-in-place order, the first in the nation. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announces “safer at home” order for the city and county. Most retail businesses, other than those deemed essential, are closed.

March 13: President Trump declares national emergency. Los Angeles Unified School District announces school closures beginning March 16.

COVID-19 virus rendering

March 12: Major League Soccer and National Hockey League suspend their seasons. Major League Baseball suspends Spring Training and delays opening day.

March 11: WHO declares coronavirus a pandemic. President Trump bans travelers from parts of Europe from entering the U.S. for 30 days. NBA suspends season. Public health officials announce first coronavirus death in Los Angeles County.

March 10: UCLA Health implements in-house testing for COVID-19. UCLA campus moves to online instruction.

March 4: Gov. Newsom declares a state of emergency in California. Los Angeles County declares state of emergency. UCLA Health convenes COVID-19 command center.

March 3: CDC says face-mask use in public is not recommended.


Feb. 26: First case of local transmission in the U.S. is a Northern California resident who did not travel or have contact with anyone known to have coronavirus.

Feb. 11: WHO renames novel coronavirus COVID-19.

Feb. 6: A California woman dies, later confirmed from coronavirus — the first coronavirus death in the U.S.


Jan. 31: U.S. Health and Human Services secretary Alex Azar declares a national public health emergency.

Jan. 30: World Health Organization declares “public health emergency of international concern” for only the sixth time in its history.

Jan. 25: CDC confirm California’s first coronavirus case: an Orange County patient who was a traveler from Wuhan, China. It’s the third case in the U.S.

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