The coronavirus vaccine is getting closer 29:36
. – At this rate, the coronavirus is killing at least one American every minute of the day.
At least 1,707 new deaths from covid-19 were reported Tuesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. That’s the highest daily death toll since May 14.
And it’s only going to get worse, said Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a professor at the George Washington University School of Medicine.
“The horrible death count we saw yesterday in the United States … reflects the number of people who were infected three weeks ago, two or three weeks ago, because that is the delay,” Reiner said Wednesday.
“On average, two or three weeks ago, we saw between 70,000 and 80,000 (new) cases per day. Yesterday, there were about 155,000 (new) cases. So if you’re alarmed by the 1,700 deaths today, two or three weeks from now, we’re going to see 3,000 deaths a day.
And while some hospitals are running out of healthcare workers, the United States once again set a new record for hospitalized patients with covid-19: 76,830 on Tuesday, according to the Covid Tracking Project.
Virtually all states are going in the wrong direction
As of Wednesday, 47 states had at least 10% more new cases daily than at this time last week, according to data from Johns Hopkins.
Two states are relatively stable compared to last week, North Dakota and Iowa, but that’s not saying much, as both states have recently had abysmal rates of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
Only Hawaii has seen a decrease of at least 10% in new cases.
This increase in infections across the country is not just due to more testing.
While new cases have risen 29% over the past week, according to Johns Hopkins, testing across the country has increased only about 11%, according to the Covid Tracking Project.
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said that at his state’s current rate, “1,000 Arkansans could die from COVID-19 by Christmas.”
Texas officials have deployed two mobile reefer trucks to Amarillo to handle the surge in deaths.
In Illinois, “occupancy of ICU and non-ICU hospitals by COVID-19 patients could reach five times our previous spring records,” Governor JB Pritzker said.
“We will continue to see an increase in both hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 in the coming weeks due to infections that have already occurred,” he said.
But we can change our outcome in the long run. We can potentially save thousands of lives in the coming months if we make changes right now to stop this.
A lockdown warning began this week in Chicago, where city officials also urged residents not to have guests in their homes, cancel traditional Thanksgiving celebrations and avoid travel.
Similar measures have been announced across the United States in recent days.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced a statewide curfew beginning Thursday from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
In Maryland, the governor issued an emergency order beginning Friday requiring bars and restaurants to close between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., except for takeout and delivery services.
“We are in a war right now,” said Governor Larry Hogan. And the virus is winning. Now, more than ever, I beg the people of our state to stay together a little longer. “
College students were told to stay home after the break
As cases rise in the US, schools and universities are also exploring what their next steps should look like, especially after a holiday season that experts fear will further fuel the rampant spread of the virus.
In Boston, Mayor Marty Walsh said vacations are “especially high risk for college students who don’t live at home.”
“Typically, many students travel to their hometown for Thanksgiving and then return to campus for the rest of the semester,” Walsh explained.
“We have asked college students not to do that this year. If you are going home for Thanksgiving, you shouldn’t be heading back to Boston this semester. You must do the rest of your learning … remotely.
Earlier this week, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont also issued guidance for out-of-state college students planning to return to Connecticut for the holidays.
He said returning students should self-quarantine for 14 days before or after returning home, get tested for COVID-19 before leaving school and after they get home, not attend parties and not self-quarantine. with any elderly or at-risk family member.
Vaccines are still months away and available
While there is good news on the vaccine front, most Americans probably won’t be able to get vaccinated until the middle of next year.
The Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine is 95% effective and has shown no serious safety issues, Pfizer said Wednesday. BioNTech said it plans to apply for an Emergency Use Authorization (US) from the US Food and Drug Administration on Friday.
Another vaccine, from Moderna, is 94.5% effective against the coronavirus, according to the first data published this week. The company says its vaccine had no serious side effects.
But health experts say Americans must step up safety measures, as there will be many more illnesses and deaths before a vaccine is available to most people.
Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said several steps are still needed before vaccines reach the arms of the public.
“They are going to look very carefully to make sure everything is in order safely and effectively, then they will judge whether these two vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, may qualify for an emergency use authorization,” Collins said.
The two companies could receive US in early or mid-December, he added.
“If these two vaccines get approval, authorization for emergency use, there will be around 40 million doses ready to be delivered in December,” he said.
People will need two doses of either vaccine. “So there are 20 million people who can be immunized and we will have to make sure that it is used for the people most at risk,” he said.
More doses will be available each month after that, Collins noted, and there are other vaccine candidates that may also get approved.
“The hope is that by April we will really start to see a lot of people getting vaccinated,” Collins said.
“And certainly by the summer we would hope to have most of America really immune to this and we could start thinking about getting back to normal life.”
CNN’s Amanda Watts, Gregory Lemos, Carma Hassan, Gisela Crespo, Kelly Christ, Shelby Lin Erdman, and Brad Parks contributed to this report.