The Latest of Coronavirus in the United States

With just a week after Thanksgiving travel, the United States is beginning to see the effects of holiday gatherings, but there are still more to come especially with Christmas around the corner. Health and Human Services secretary, Alex Azar, fears that this holiday season could be even more devastating due to additional gatherings.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 280,000 have died from COVID-19 and president-elect Joe Biden warns that another 250,000 could be dead by January. Dr. Robert Redfield of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, states that “December and January and February are going to rough times,” due to how strenuous the pandemic will be on the health-care system.

As of December 6th per data from John Hopkins University, the United States has averaged 196,233 new cases within the last week -- a new record for the nation, and the country is expected to soon average 200,000 cases per day. Along with an increase in cases, the US has seen a record increase of hospitalizations with 101,487 coronavirus patients across the country.

To manage the overwhelming amount of patients, states like New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island have taken to preparing field hospitals. However, one state with increasingly low ICU capacity has prepared a new stay-at-home order with hopes to change their status.

Gov. Gavin Newsom of California placed a statewide order over regions with less than 15% ICU capacity for the next three weeks in order to prevent further surges in cases and reduce hospitalizations. Under this order, retailers and grocery stores may operate at 20% capacity, places of worship may congregate outdoors, restaurants may remain open for takeout only, and nonessential services like salons and theaters are to be closed. These restrictions, along with a travel warning, are set to be in place beyond Christmas, putting many residents holiday plans on pause.

In vaccine news, Pfitzer and Moderna are near authorization and could be ready by mid-December if approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Upon approval, the CDC states that the vaccine should first be available to healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents, and may not be suitable for children. In addition, Dr. Michael Ryan reminds the public that, “vaccines do not equal zero Covid” even though they may be helpful in fighting the Coronavirus Pandemic.

As covid-19 continues to ravage through the United States, we must continue to mind “the three W’s” as Alex Azar likes to put it by washing your hands, watching your distance, and wearing face coverings.

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