Coronavirus: Hospitalizations for Covid-19 reach record and forecast increase

COVID-19 :

This is how a Los Angeles hospital operates in crisis due to covid-19 3:43

. – More people passed through U.S. airports on Sunday than on any other day in the pandemic, paving the way for waves of new COVID-19 infections across the country.

More than 1.28 million people have passed through security checkpoints, the Transportation Security Administration reported.

At the same time, more Americans were hospitalized last week than during any other week of the pandemic, according to the Covid Tracking Project.

Six states on Sunday set a new record for the highest number of hospital patients with covid-19: Alabama, California, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Doctors say massive vacation trips will lead to more hospitalizations, a big problem as many centers have already exceeded their capacity.

“It’s really frustrating, because if you look at the data from the last 10 days, it has actually started to show signs of light,” said Dr. Jonathan Reiner, professor of medicine at George Washington University.

“Places like the Midwest, with a drop in the number of cases. Even in the northeast. The American positivity rate has gone from around 12% to around 10%. These are really tangible signs that the crisis is slowing down. And now there will almost certainly be another peak, ”he explained.

And, unlike the previous holidays, the combination of Christmas and New Year lasts a whole week.

“We know that after every big party there was an increase in the number of cases,” said Leana Wen, doctor of emergency medicine.

“We saw it after Memorial Day, after July 4th, after Labor Day. And these holidays were relatively short compared to Christmas and New Years, ”he explained.

On top of that, the weather is much colder now, which means more gatherings indoors and a higher risk of aerosol spread.

Covid-19 patients in the United States increasingly occupy ICU beds

ICUs are often associated with heart attacks and car crashes, but an increasing number of beds in these units are now occupied by patients with COVID-19.

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As of last week, about 40% of all intensive care patients in the United States had COVID-19, according to a CNN analysis of data released Monday by the Department of Health and Human Services.

This figure rose from 16% at the end of September, 22% at the end of October and 35% at the end of November.

And more hospitalizations inevitably lead to more deaths.

More than 63,000 Americans have already died so far this month, most of the month since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins University.

In just 11 months, more than 333,000 people have died from covid-19 in the country. This means more than one in 1,000 Americans has died from the coronavirus and the rate is accelerating.

A California hospital will soon have to ration the limited number of ICU beds and care equipment, which means some people will receive treatment and others not, said infectious disease specialist Dr Kimberly Shriner.

At this rate, the Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena is preparing for a “final triage,” he said.

And with most Americans unable to get vaccinated until next year, the country faces ‘wave after wave’ after vacation travel, said Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Health . Allergies and infectious diseases.

“As we move forward in the next few weeks,” he said, “it could actually get worse.”

New travel requirements take effect Monday

As more countries detect the highly contagious strain of coronavirus that was first identified in the UK, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have announced new testing requirements for travelers . arriving from UK.

The new rules will take effect on Monday. Passengers must have tested negative for an antigen or PCR test within 72 hours of boarding a flight from the UK to the US, and must have documentation of laboratory results.

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Airlines will need to confirm testing before flight.

So far, dozens of countries have banned British passengers.

All viruses mutate over time, and the new coronavirus has already mutated. But scientists advising the UK government have estimated that this strain could be up to 70% more effective at spreading than others.

The companies responsible for the first two vaccines to obtain emergency clearance in the United States, Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna, are testing their vaccines to confirm their effectiveness against the new strain.

Pfizer and Moderna test vaccines against new variant 0:38

The deployment of the Covid-19 vaccine is slower than expected in the United States

About 2.1 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the United States, according to the CDC. About 11.5 million doses were distributed on Monday.

These figures now include the Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. And although there are delays in submitting the data, federal officials previously said they were working to distribute 20 million doses by the end of the year.

Asked about the apparent slow pace of vaccine rollout, Fauci said large vaccination programs comprehensive with a new vaccine start slowly before gaining momentum.

“I’m pretty confident that as we get more and more momentum, moving from December to January and then February to March, I think we’ll catch up,” he said. .

Dr Esther Choo, professor of emergency medicine at the Oregon University of Health and Sciences, said administering vaccines was “a very complicated thing.”

“At every step there is complexity and there is the possibility of delay, be it individual condition planning, allocation, training, vaccine supply, storage … there are so many factors at this point, ”Choo said.

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“We need to be prepared for the fact that this will be a slow rollout in many places and it will not change our behavior or necessarily the trajectory of the pandemic in this country in the short term,” Choo added.

Vaccines will likely not be widely available until the summer. And, in this context, experts urged Americans not to let their guard down. This means continuing to wear face masks, washing your hands frequently, and maintaining social distancing.

Why the number associated with collective immunity is changing

Fauci explains when we’ll get collective immunity 4:29

For the United States to achieve herd immunity through vaccination, between 70% and 85% of the population would need to be vaccinated, Fauci said.

“The range is going to be between 70 and 85%,” Fauci said on Sunday.

The infectious disease expert said the reason he initially spoke 70% to 75% and then increased the figure above 85% “was based on pure measles calculations and extrapolations.”

“We have to realize that we have to be humble and realize what we don’t know,” he said. “These are just pure estimates and the calculations I made, from 70 to 75%, are a range,” he explained.

The measles vaccine is about 98% effective, Fauci said. When less than 90% of the population is vaccinated against measles, there begins to be a breakthrough in herd immunity and people start to get infected.

“So I calculated that Covid-19, SARS-CoV-2, is not as transmissible as measles,” Fauci said.

“Measles is the most transmissible infection you can imagine. So I imagine you would need something a little less than 90%, that’s where I got to 85, ”he explained.

CNN’s Brandon Miller, Deidre McPhillips, Pete Muntean, Christina Maxouris, Naomi Thomas and Virginia Langmaid contributed to this report.

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