If COVID-19 continues to skyrocket as it has been during the Thanksgiving season, the rest of the holidays can be just as bleak – if not more so.
At least, that’s what leading US infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci told USA TODAY last week in an interview in which he warned Americans should “show our love and affection for people by protecting them. . “
The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations continues to rise, hitting a record for the 17th consecutive day Thursday with more than 90,400 admissions, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
Every minute, 114 Americans test positive for COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Every hour, 65 Americans die.
In vaccine news, AstraZeneca suffered a setback after a dosing error caused the company to re-evaluate the efficacy of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and to plan a new global clinical trial.
📈 The numbers of the day: The United States has reported more than 12.8 million cases and more than 263,400 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. This week, five states set death records and 23 states had a higher number of cases than last week. Global totals: over 61 million cases and 1.4 million deaths.
🗺️ Coronavirus mapping: Track the American epidemic in your state.
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Don’t kiss your elderly parents while on vacation, warns UK medical chief
UK Chief Medical Adviser Chris Whitty has issued a terrible warning to families over the holidays: don’t hug your elderly parents “if you want them to survive to be hugged again” after the holidays.
The nation granted its residents permission to congregate among themselves, in a “Christmas bubble” of up to three households and eight people from December 23-27. However, the lax restrictions during the holidays will likely lead to an increase in COVID-19 cases in the UK.
And even if households get mixed up, Whitty told a press conference Thursday, according to the BBC, that people should “have meaning” when celebrating the holidays with loved ones.
“Take it really seriously this Christmas. Don’t do stupid things. Don’t do unnecessary things just because the rules say so. Think sensibly.”
AstraZeneca has announced its intention to conduct a new global clinical trial to assess the efficacy of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The news comes after the company and the university recognized a dosage error in the tests.
AstraZeneca said an additional trial shouldn’t delay regulatory approval in Britain or the European Union – but the US Food and Drug Administration could take longer.
Unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine does not need to be stored at freezing temperatures, which potentially makes it easier to distribute. It’s also cheaper, as AstraZeneca has agreed not to take advantage of it during the pandemic.
What do you do when your snowplow operator is quarantined?
Snow removal from roads and sidewalks is never a snap in Vermont. This winter, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit plow crews – and the general public – a thicker slice of uncertainty.
Predictions are tough when it comes to a new disease like COVID, said Dennis Lutz, director of public works in Essex, Vermont: “We’ve never taken this route before.” He explained the three-tier alerts his service could issue if COVID cases increased – green, yellow and red. Red indicates delays of 24 to 48 hours, with half of the city’s licensed plow operators unable to work.
Lutz’s counterparts in other communities have similar contingency plans in place. And, as usual, some plans will fail, Lutz added: “At the end of the day, nothing is foolproof.”
– Joel Banner Baird, Burlington Free Press
Experts warn of worsening COVID outbreak over holidays
Thanksgiving may be the start of a gloomy holiday season as the surge in coronavirus cases is likely to persist, or even worsen, through December, January and February.
“If the outbreak continues to increase and you have over 100,000 infections per day and 1,300 deaths per day and the tally keeps increasing … I don’t see it being any different during the Christmas and New Years than Thanksgiving, ”said Dr. Anthony Fauci in an interview with USA TODAY last week.
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said the country is in a vulnerable position as the holiday season approaches, as infections are too high to control the likely winter surges.
Ali Mokdad, professor of health measurement science at the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluations and director of population health strategy at the University of Washington, said: “We have to be very careful over the coming weeks. extra to avoid pain and suffering. “
– Adrianna Rodriguez
Australian state reports 28 days without new cases, death
Australia’s state of Victoria has not recorded any new coronavirus cases or deaths for 28 consecutive days, Department of Health and Human Services tweeted Thursday. With no active cases, Victoria joins New Zealand and China for having largely succeeded in eliminating the virus.
According to the Victoria government website, the state can now begin to prepare for normal: The triggers for moving to a “normal COVID” restriction level were 28 days with no new cases and zero active cases. But since there are cases of the virus active in other states, Victoria will remain in “prevention mode”, local newspaper ABC reported.
Still, it was a welcome sign in the state, which as of August 11 had peaked at 7,880 active cases.
Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is positive
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has tested positive for coronavirus.
A person with knowledge of the situation confirmed Jackson’s positive COVID-19 test to USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the issue.
NFL Network was the first to report the positive test.
The Ravens reported additional positive tests earlier Thursday, the day their undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers game was originally scheduled to be played. The contest was rescheduled to Sunday at 1:15 p.m. ET on NBC. All signs point to Robert Griffin III’s reinforcement starting behind center with Jackson absent.
– Chris Bumbaca
Oregon fines gym $ 90,000 for violating COVID order
Oregon officials have fined Courthouse Club Fitness $ 90,000 for defying Governor Kate Brown’s COVID-19 order and staying open during the state’s two-week “freeze.”
Officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the agency responsible for enforcing restrictions on the COVID-19 pandemic, said the sanction was the result of citations against each of the club’s four establishments near Salem.
Last week, Governor Kate Brown ordered a two-week statewide “freeze” aimed at limiting group activities and slowing the spread of COVID-19 in Oregon, where cases have reached a peak record level. The freeze will last until December 3, with the exception of 21 counties in the state, which will still be subject to coronavirus restrictions.
– Whitney Woodworth, Salem Statesman Journal
WHO encourages exercise even in a pandemic
In guidelines for people of all ages released on Wednesday, the World Health Organization underscored the need to be physically active and limit time spent in a sedentary lifestyle, which some say may have increased due to restrictions imposed to limit exercise. spread of the coronavirus.
“Every kind of movement counts,” even in a pandemic, the WHO said.
Adults should benefit from 150 to 300 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity, including older adults and those with chronic illnesses or disabilities, the WHO said. Children should spend an hour a day in moderate to vigorous activity. Four to five million deaths a year would be avoided if people were more active, the WHO said.
– Ryan Miller
US COVID-19 Resources TODAY
Contributing: The Associated Press