Covid kills greater than 2,000 folks daily within the US as infections rise
For the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, the US is reporting a weekly average of more than 2,000 Covid-19 deaths per day, according to Johns Hopkins University, as infections permeate the country and hospital stays weigh on the country’s health system.
More than 2,600 people died of Covid on Friday after more than 2,800 deaths were reported on Thursday, a one-day report on the pandemic. More than 2,000 people have died from the virus every day since the beginning of the month.
The US reported more than 227,800 Covid-19 cases on Friday, a record increase as more people are hospitalized with the virus than at any other time during the pandemic.
According to a CNBC analysis of the data compiled by Johns Hopkins, the US reports a record weekly average of 182,663 cases per day as states work to stick to normal reporting schedules after falling behind over the Thanksgiving holiday.
However, the country’s hospitals are reporting a record number of patients – 101,276 people – suffering from Covid-19. This is a sign that the outbreak is becoming more serious, according to the COVID Tracking Project, which is being carried out by journalists in the Atlantic.
“The reality is that December, January and February are going to be tough times. I actually believe they will be the toughest in this nation’s public health history, largely because of the stress that will put our health-care system under pressure.” said Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on Wednesday.
In a terrible warning on Wednesday, President-elect Joe Biden said 250,000 more people will die of Covid “between now and January” “because people are not careful”. More than 279,000 people in the U.S. have died since the pandemic began and more than 14.3 million have been infected with the virus, according to Johns Hopkins.
To help slow the spread of the virus, Biden said Thursday that he would mandate the wearing of masks on all federal goods and on interstate transports once he is sworn in. He said he would also ask all Americans to wear a mask for 100 days to reduce transmission.
“Only 100 days to mask,” said Biden. “Not forever. 100 days.”
The wave of Covid patients is weighing on hospital systems across the country. States like New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island have built field hospitals to prepare for the influx of sick patients.
Unlike last spring, when the onslaught of coronavirus patients spurred health care workers from across the country to travel to hotspots like New York to help treat the sick, hospital systems across the country are facing their own emergencies, without leaving any space, say experts.
“When we’ve talked about these two capacity and staffing issues, it’s really about staff caring for people,” Nancy Foster, vice president of quality and patient safety for the American Hospital Association, told CNBC earlier this week. “You can get creative without a bed, but nurses and doctors and respiratory therapists and other staff are vital. And you can’t just invent them overnight.”
In Iowa, rural access facilities have historically struggled to recruit health care workers like nurses, respiratory therapists, and doctors, said Eli Perencevich, an infectious disease doctor and epidemiologist at the University of Iowa. According to Johns Hopkins data, the state reports a weekly average of 43 Covid-19 deaths per day, the highest since the pandemic began.
“It’s a big problem, even without the pandemic, and to add that the hospitals are kind of overwhelmed and the staff are constantly sick, that’s really unsustainable,” Perencevich told CNBC on Saturday.
Health workers will be thinly distributed as the number of patients increases, with some of them developing Covid-19 themselves.
While the medical community has learned how to better treat Covid-19 patients, “the greatest risk of dying from coronavirus in the hospital is whether doctors and nurses are overwhelmed or overwhelmed, or whether they have the time to talk to each one Patient to spend. ” The patient is really monitoring everything carefully, “Dr. Celine Gounder, a Covid-19 advisor to Biden and an infectious disease specialist at NYU’s Grossman School of Medicine, told MSNBC on Thursday.
Health experts advise against vacation travel
Covid-19 cases were on the rise even before Thanksgiving, when more than 3 million people were traveling through the country’s airports. This has been the busiest weekend touring since the lock orders were issued in mid-March. The CDC is now advising that people do not travel and congregate during the winter vacation.
“I know how difficult that is. We all have a high level of empathy and know – and so do I – that we want to be with your family, want to have a big Christmas dinner with family and friends,” said the coronavirus advisor of the White House, Dr. Anthony Fauci told MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” on Thursday.
“It just shouldn’t be done right now. To the best of our knowledge, we should avoid travel and cessation of meetings,” he said.
The US is likely to see a “spike on spike” number of Covid-19 cases, with a bunch of shoppers and ill-advised holiday parties threatening to compound an already raging outbreak, Fauci told Colorado Governor Jared Polis on Tuesday.
“If you look at the US, we are in a public health crisis right now,” said Fauci. “Now that we are in mid to late autumn and moving into winter, we have seen an increase that has truly surpassed the others due to a variety of circumstances.”
Earlier this week, the CDC also announced new curtailed alternatives to their recommended quarantine for people exposed to someone with Covid-19. The agency is now suggesting that someone can end the quarantine after 10 days if the person hasn’t developed symptoms, said Dr. Henry Walke, CDC Covid Incident Manager.
The quarantine can end in just seven days if the asymptomatic person also tests negative for the virus, he said. However, some public health experts criticized the new guidelines, saying it would have been better to offer services like free food delivery or even lost wages to encourage adherence to the previously recommended 14-day quarantine.
Vaccines close to approval
Two companies – Pfizer and Moderna – have now applied to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency approval for their coronavirus vaccines, which could receive the green light in mid-December.
The UK became the first country on Wednesday to approve Pfizer’s BioNTech vaccine, which will pave the way for its population to be vaccinated next week.
Infectious disease experts like Fauci said there is “light at the end of the tunnel” and urged people to continue to follow recommended public health measures such as wearing masks and social distancing until the doses are dispensed and the Population to be vaccinated.
Moncef Slaoui, scientific advisor to Operation Warp Speed at the White House, told the Washington Post in a livestream interview Tuesday that the entire US population could be vaccinated by June and there could be enough doses to keep the rest of the population immunize nearly 8 billion people in the world by early to mid-2022.
However, the World Health Organization is concerned that “the perception that the pandemic is over is growing,” Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Friday. Even with the vaccine rollout, the U.S. is expected to report 539,000 coronavirus deaths by April 1, according to a new forecast from the Institute of Health Metrics and Assessment at the University of Washington.
“The truth is that very high levels of transmission of the virus are being observed in many places, which is putting enormous pressure on hospitals, intensive care units and health workers,” Tedros said during a press conference.
– CNBC’s Will Feuer and Christina Wilkie contributed to this report.