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. – The end of the coronavirus pandemic may now be in sight with more good news about vaccine candidates, but for now “this will get worse,” a senior US official said Wednesday.
“We have had a million documented cases in the last week, our rate of increase is higher than even in the summer, we have hospitalizations that increase 25% week after week,” said Admiral Brett Giroir, undersecretary of health in the Department. Health and Human Services, he told CNN. “There are so many more cases that deaths are increasing.”
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It’s what experts have repeatedly warned in recent weeks, as US coronavirus conditions continue to deteriorate across the country: Things will get worse before they get better.
Coronavirus in the US: this is the situation
The number of infections in Massachusetts is eight times the number on Labor Day, and hospitalizations have quadrupled.
Only 6% of Oklahoma ICU beds remain available. In Arkansas, more than 1,000 people could lose their lives in the next five weeks, according to the governor. In Illinois, the virus is now the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer.
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More than 250,000 Americans have died from the virus so far, a death toll higher than in any other country, and another 188,000 are projected to lose their lives in the next three and a half months, according to the University Health Institute. from Washington. As of mid-January, the IHME model predicts that more than 2,100 Americans could be dying daily.
“As you’ve heard so many times before, we know how to fix this,” Giroir told CNN Wednesday night. “This is an absolute adherence to wearing a mask, avoiding crowds, and yes, we can keep the economy open, but we’re going to have to cut back on indoor venues like restaurants and indoor dining.”
Next week will be critical for the coronavirus situation in the US.
How bad things get will also depend on what the Thanksgiving celebrations will be like next week. Health officials and local leaders have warned of the danger of traditional holiday gatherings, saying they will likely help further fuel the rise in cases.
But Americans can make the holidays a turning point by wearing masks and following other safety precautions, the Infectious Diseases Society of America said Wednesday.
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“Virtual meetings are still the safest way to bring friends and family together from distant points. Outdoor environments can reduce the risks of meetings with people outside your home, ”said the group, also highlighting the importance of covering your face.
“We have the resources and the knowledge to stop the spread of this pandemic. Keeping our common cause and shared well-being at the forefront of our Christmas celebrations will make a difference. “
This year, “separation should be the norm,” another expert previously said.
“It’s Covid Thanksgiving,” Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University, said last week. “We do not want to spread the virus while giving thanks.”
New restrictions in the US due to the pandemic
Wisconsin was one of the first states to be hit hard by this round of waves. On Wednesday, Governor Tony Evers announced that he was declaring a new state of emergency and extending the state’s public health emergency through January.
“It’s clear, based on where we are going, that we cannot afford to stop or have a gap in some of the only mitigation efforts that we still have,” he said.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear also announced new measures that will take effect on Friday, including limiting social gatherings to a maximum of two people from no more than two households and a ban on indoor service for restaurants and bars. And starting Monday, schools should begin remote classes, the governor said.
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In Minnesota, the governor said the state is at a “tipping point” and announced a four-week setback that will “help prevent more families from losing a loved one and ensure that our hospitals can treat those who become ill. ».
As of Friday, gatherings that include people from more than one household are prohibited, while bars and restaurants will only be able to operate takeout and home delivery services. Gyms, entertainment venues and event spaces will also close.
“As hospitals approach the crisis of turning away new patients, continuing as things are is simply not sustainable,” said Governor Tim Walz. “While these actions pose incredible hardships for many, they are the fastest way to get our finances back, keep our children in school and get back to the activities we love.”