US Coronavirus: Well being care employees are ‘tapped out’ amid coronavirus fall surge, Wisconsin physician says
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the US has added more than half a million new Covid-19 cases since it hit 10 million cases on Monday.
At this rate, the number should exceed 11 million in the next four days, which is the fastest addition of millions more, according to John Hopkins data.
“Our beds get full every day. The nurses are exhausted. The doctors are exhausted. We are exhausted,” Rai said.
November was already crippling for American communities battling Covid-19 spikes in cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Experts warn that it will likely get worse before it gets better.
Dr. Carlos del Rio, an infectious disease expert at Emory University, said Friday he was more concerned about capacity in hospitals than the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE).
“Things we can buy but staff we can’t make up,” he said. “So I worry about our nurses. I worry about our healthcare providers. I worry that I just don’t have enough of them.”
For the tenth straight day, the US reported more than 100,000 infections, and the total since Monday reached 556,961. On Thursday, with the highest number of more than 153,000 new infections, the country was getting closer to what an expert had predicted could soon become a devastating reality – 200,000 cases a day.
At least 10.6 million cases and more than 243,000 deaths had been recorded in the United States as of Friday, according to Johns Hopkins.
Two states passed a total of 1 million Covid-19 infections this week. For the third year in a row, the country set a record for hospital stays, which are now more than 67,000.The leap in cases is causing states to bring back restrictions not seen since the spring. Brad Little, governor of Idaho, announced Friday that the state would fall back on the second stage of its reopening, which bans gatherings of more than 10 people indoors and outdoors, with the exception of religious and political gatherings.
In Oregon, Governor Kate Brown announced a nationwide “two-week freeze” on Friday. The freeze limits social gatherings to a maximum of six people, closes restaurants and bars for personal dining, and limits the capacity of faith-based gatherings to a maximum of 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors. Retail and grocery stores are also limited to 75% capacity, while gyms, indoor and outdoor leisure facilities, and event venues are closed.
“I know it’s hard and I know everyone is tired, but we’re trying to stop this wild virus from spreading,” Brown said.
Maine Governor Janet Mills announced Friday that Massachusetts residents are no longer exempt from Maine quarantine restrictions on travel outside of the state. This means that Massachusetts residents wishing to enter Maine will be required to quarantine or test negative for 14 days from Monday on a sample taken within two days of their arrival. However, Vermont and New Hampshire residents continue to be exempt from Maine’s quarantine restrictions, Mills said.
“Less is more this harvest festival”
Public health measures touted by officials for months – including face-covering, social distancing and regular hand washing – could provide much-needed help. According to predictions by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluations in Seattle, more than 17,000 lives could be saved by the end of the year if 95% of Americans wore face masks.
“If we do the things that are simple public health measures, that increase will slow down and gradually decrease,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, told CBS “This morning” on Friday.
If the Americans lower their guard, “we will continue to rise,” said Fauci, advising people to wear their masks as often as possible at Thanksgiving gatherings.
“Separation should be the norm,” said Dr. William Schaffner, professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University, on Thursday. “We don’t want to give the virus while we say thank you.”
Vermont Governor Phil Scott announced Friday that public and private gatherings of various households would be banned from 10 p.m. on Saturday. Bars must be closed until 10 p.m. and restaurants cannot offer takeout until after 10 p.m. All recreational sports for young people will also be banned for the time being, he said.
Scott said there would be no enforcement of the ban on multi-household gatherings. However, he hopes the residents will adhere to an honor system. If these gatherings are still going on and causing outbreaks, stricter enforcement could come, he said.
He announced another 84 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, compared to an average of 25 cases per day over the past week. No additional deaths have been reported, Scott said.
Illinois reported more than 15,000 cases for a new record and the highest number of hospitalizations.
In Wisconsin: “It is way beyond what we can currently tolerate and still save lives,” said Dr. Ashok Rai, President and CEO of Prevea Health, to the WBAY partner. “From a health point of view, we are developed.”
NYC Mayor wants the state to reconsider the curfew
As bars, restaurants and gyms prepare for the first night with a 10 p.m. curfew, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the closure of these facilities needs to be “reassessed”.
“Although the state makes the final decisions on industry issues here, I am very aware of the fact that we have to keep an eye on people’s livelihoods here,” he said on WNYC’s “The Brian Teacher Show” on Friday morning.
De Blasio suggested that vacation travel will have more of an impact on the further response to the pandemic. “We’re talking about restaurants or gyms, but it will be much more crucial if we can successfully restrict travel and indoor gatherings during the holidays.”
De Blasio also said the city’s schools could be closed “as early as Monday”, citing rising Covid-19 case numbers.
New York Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza issued a letter to school principals urging them to prepare for a brief period of system-wide distance learning.
Study: New mutated virus strain spreads more easily
Researchers also now say they have found more evidence that a mutated version of the coronavirus that has overtaken an older strain to spread across much of the world can be transmitted more easily – but doesn’t appear to be more dangerous.
And it hasn’t changed its physical form, so it should be just as susceptible to the body’s immune response, whether natural or induced by a vaccine.
The team’s results confirm previous studies that showed the new strain was able to spread more easily, and also support evidence that the mutation didn’t increase the likelihood of the virus causing serious illness. The mutation could help the virus thrive and spread better in the nose and upper respiratory tract.
“Targeted vaccinations” should begin in December or January, the official says
Meanwhile, a top US official said Thursday that any American who wants a vaccine can do so by April.
“First of all, we will have very targeted vaccinations in December and January, which are also largely supported by some of our largest chains like Walgreens and CVS,” Alex Azar, US Secretary of Health, told CNN.
There will likely be enough vaccines to get “all of our most vulnerable citizens” in December, followed by “all of our seniors, as well as our first responders and our healthcare workers” in January.
While the U.S. doesn’t have an approved Covid-19 vaccine yet, drug maker Pfizer announced Monday that early data on its vaccine shows it is more than 90% effective. Officials generally expect the company to be able to apply for an emergency permit by the end of the month.
CNN’s Amanda Watts, Jonathan Kubiak, Taylor Romine, Lauren Mascarenhas, Elizabeth Cohen, Samira Said and Maggie Fox contributed to this report.