US coronavirus: Experts urge Thanksgiving travelers to get tested for Covid-19 as hospital admissions are highest

“If your family has traveled, you should assume that you have been exposed and infected,” said White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, Sunday at CBS.

She also recommended that people over the age of 65 get tested immediately if they develop symptoms.

“If you’re over 65 or have co-morbidities and you got together for Thanksgiving – if you develop symptoms, you should get tested immediately,” said Birx.

According to the Transportation Security Administration, more people passed through airport security on Sunday than on any other day since the coronavirus pandemic cranked up air travel.

TSA screened 1.17 million people on Sunday, when many Americans were on their way home from their Thanksgiving trips, it said. That means more than 9.4 million people were screened in the Thanksgiving travel window, which began the Friday before the holiday.

November was a month of an unprecedented wave of coronavirus, with 27 consecutive days of new cases exceeding 100,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
And as hospital admissions hit a new record of 93,238 on Sunday, it was the third time the figure exceeded 90,000 this month, according to the Covid Tracking Project.

“There is no way that hospitals can be fully prepared for what we are currently facing,” said Dr. Megan Ranney.

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“This is like a natural disaster affecting all 50 states simultaneously. There are not enough beds. There is not enough staff. And due to the lack of national preparation, there are still insufficient facilities.”

Statistics reported in the days following the holiday may show a relative dip in Covid-19 cases, followed by an increase due to a delay in government agency reporting over the long weekend.

And given the long incubation period of the coronavirus and how long it takes for an infected person to test positive, cases related to Thanksgiving are unlikely to appear in public records in the first full week of December at the earliest.

American surgeon general Dr. Jerome Adams told “Fox News Sunday” that he expects new infections and hospitalizations to get worse in the coming weeks.

“Make sure to wash your hands and make sure that if you’ve been in a meeting of more than 10 people in the past few days without your mask on, get tested for the next three to five days,” he said. .

The spread is worst in the Midwest, expert says

While the US struggles to manage the cases until a vaccine can be distributed, the states are different.

If officials in Arizona fail to address the rise in the number of cases over the next two to three weeks, the state will face a humanitarian crisis leading to hundreds of preventable deaths, the University of Arizona’s Zuckerman College of Public Health said in a statement. a report Friday.

VS is & # 39;  around the corner in a disaster & # 39;  says expert, with the number of deaths from Covid-19 expected to double

“While targeted measures may have delayed transmission enough weeks ago, I believe that sheltering in situ offers the surest chance of achieving the improvements needed,” said the report’s lead author, Dr. Joe Gerald, also an assistant professor, Saturday.

In New York City, once the epicenter of the virus has spread in the US, the state will return students up to fifth grade to public schools for personal learning in early December, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

Students are tested weekly, and parents will be required to sign a consent form for each student who will take in-person classes, de Blasio said.

Still, New York is experiencing a 4.27% positivity rate, the highest rate since May, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Sunday.

Scatter rates are worse in the Midwest than in other parts of the country, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, said on CBS Sunday on “Face the Nation.”

“When you see what’s happening in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, where governors took more aggressive steps earlier, where there’s more consistent use of masks, where they got less infections this season – I think you’ll The number of infections remains lower than we see in other parts of the country, such as the Midwest, ”said Gottlieb.

According to the state’s Covid-19 dashboard, Ohio’s total Saturday total exceeded 400,000 cases, with more than 100,000 added in less than two weeks.

Some Americans could receive vaccines in December

Vaccine candidates from Moderna and Pfizer / BioNTech have shown promising results in testing. Moderna plans to file an application with the FDA on Monday for approval of its Covid-19 vaccine.

It will ask the agency to review a comprehensive dataset showing that the vaccine is 94.1% effective in preventing Covid-19 and 100% effective in preventing severe cases of the disease.

“This is striking,” said Dr. Paul Offit, a member of the FDA’s Vaccine Advisory Committee. “This is astonishing data.”

Pfizer and BioNTech asked the FDA on Nov.20 for emergency use approval for their coronavirus vaccine candidate, the first to seek approval in the US.
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An expected 40 million vaccine doses will be ready by the end of the year, but that’s not enough for everyone who needs it to get one, Adams told Fox.

Advisers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention convened an emergency meeting on Tuesday to vote on who they recommend first getting a coronavirus vaccine once one is approved.

“The vaccine advisory committee advising CDC will make recommendations on who should get the vaccine first, the so-called 1A group – the people who should get it immediately, when it becomes available,” Gottlieb told CBS.

Gottlieb said he expects health professionals, long-term residents and staff to be the first group of people to be eligible for the vaccine.

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“That’s pretty much decided – they’re going to vote on it this week,” he said. “I would be very surprised if they deviate from that.”

The initial release of vaccines will likely coincide with when cases related to Thanksgiving gatherings will occur.

Although the CDC recommended that Americans don’t travel before Thanksgiving, more than 6 million people passed security at U.S. airports in the run-up to the holiday.

“If you look at people hospitalized today, they were infected two weeks ago, maybe more,” said Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a professor of medicine at George Washington University. ‘And then it usually takes another week before people succumb to the disease.’

CNN’s Holly Yan, Chuck Johnston, Naomi Thomas, Leanna Faulk, Artemis Moshtaghian and Sheena Jones contributed to this report.

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