The United States has seen an impressive number of pandemics this year, but this resurgence is unprecedented. As the weather cools and the summer holidays approach, experts have warned that spikes in cases, hospitalizations and deaths could worsen before they improve.
Saturday was the 19th day in a row the United States has reported more than 100,000 new cases, according to Johns Hopkins. Peak records in the spring and summer of new cases did not exceed 60,000.
At least 24 hospital executives have warned the American Hospital Association that they are experiencing a staffing shortage, said Nancy Foster, the association’s vice president for quality and patient safety policy. Increases in hospitalization rates are often followed by rising deaths.
To date, 24,291 deaths have been reported during the month of November. This represents 9.5% of deaths during the pandemic.
States report milestones
The number of actual cases is likely to be “multitudes” higher than the 12 million reported because there aren’t enough people being tested, said Dr Esther Choo, professor of emergency medicine at Oregon Health & Science University.
Choo said she was particularly concerned about how quickly new cases were accelerating.
“So many states have test positivity rates above 20%, which means we are way behind in our confirmed cases,” she told CNN’s Erica Hill.
And positivity testing is just one of the measures reaching discouraging heights in the United States.
Mississippi reported a single-day record in the state with 1,972 cases on Saturday, according to the Mississippi State Department of Health.
In New Mexico, records were set on Saturday with 825 hospitalizations, a tweet from Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said.
Thanksgiving trip despite CDC recommendation against it
Due to the increase in the number of people, health experts have warned people tired of social distancing not to give up the Thanksgiving holiday. “I would tell those who are homesick … to hold the line,” Dr. Chris Pernell, a public health doctor at Newark University Hospital in New Jersey, told CNN on Saturday. “Wait a little longer until we can get to the point in the country where we know the pandemic is not accelerating. Otherwise, it could be fatal.”
Last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged against Thanksgiving travel and celebrating with anyone outside of your own home as cases are skyrocketing. But health officials suspect many will visit family and friends and spread the virus further – multiple times, without knowing it.
The CDC said in new guidelines last week that more than 50% of Covid-19 infections are spread by people without symptoms, with people falling increasingly sick and others without symptoms seeking to be reassured before the holidays, long queues form outside the tests. across the country, appointments are filling up and commercial labs are warning their capacities are running out.
Health experts, however, stress that a negative test result will not guarantee that a person will not carry the virus to a Thanksgiving gathering, as a test will not necessarily detect new infections. A person who is already infected could test negative, go to dinner a few days later, and then spread the disease.
People who wish to attend a Thanksgiving dinner indoors with another household, experts told CNN, should have planned to quarantine 14 days in advance. “If you’re doing this correctly, you don’t need a test,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, chief of the infectious disease division at Massachusetts General Hospital, told CNN.
Maintain the virus
For now, experts urge the public to use measures such as wearing masks, social distancing, crowd avoidance and hand washing to curb the spread until promising vaccines and treatments are available.
The US Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued an emergency authorization for the use of the Regeneron antibody cocktail to treat Covid-19 in high-risk patients with mild to moderate symptoms. It is one of the treatments that President Donald Trump received during his hospitalization.
A race to develop an effective vaccine against the virus has brought promising results, with Moderna announcing earlier this month that its vaccine candidate has a 94.5% effect against the coronavirus.
On Friday, Pfizer and BioNTech submitted an application to the FDA for emergency use authorization for their Covid-19 vaccine candidate. Earlier this week, Pfizer said a final analysis of the Phase 3 trial of the vaccine showed that it was 95% effective in preventing infections, even in the elderly, and posed no safety concerns. serious.
While EUA’s request is “encouraging,” the Infectious Diseases Society of America stressed on Friday that a transparent review of Pfizer’s data was still needed.
And if the vaccine is given the green light, “clinical trials and data collection must continue,” Dr Barbara Alexander, president of IDSA, said in the statement.
“Measures that include wearing masks, frequent hand washing, maintaining physical distance and limiting the size of gatherings will remain crucial,” the statement said. “Finally, new federal funding must be provided for widespread, fair and equitable distribution of vaccines in addition to campaigns to build confidence in vaccines.”
CNN’s Christina Maxouris, Hollie Silverman, Holly Yan, Claudia Dominguez, Jamie Gumbrecht, Jacqueline Howard and Lauren Mascaren contributed to this report.
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