CLOSE Doctors and nurses working in hospitals across the country are sharing the realities of COVID-19. USA TODAYJust as the COVID-19 vaccine starts to become a reality for Americans, public health officials in the United States have chosen to loosen restrictions on how long an individual must quarantine after being exposed to the virus, from 14 days to 7 or 10 days.The decision was made largely on the basis of “economic hardship,” said the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Dr. Henry Walke, especially for those who cannot work due to COVID-19 exposure.This news comes a day after public health officials voted to make residents of long-term care facilities, as well as front-line health care workers, the first Americans to get a COVID-19 vaccine. The United Kingdom has accelerated its timeline, giving the first shots of the vaccine to the most vulnerable people next week, after becoming the first Western country to approve widespread use of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by drug companies Pfizer and BioNTech, the British government said Wednesday. What you need to know today:The first day of December proved to be the most fatal since mid-April. According to Johns Hopkins data, 2,597 deaths were reported Tuesday — only 10 less than the record toll set April 15.The

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