Coronavirus news in the United States: Covid-19 hospitalizations last week were higher than ever. Now Doctors Predict New Patient Attack

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

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

Six states set new records for the most Covid-19 hospital patients on Sunday: Alabama, California, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Doctors say mass vacation travel will result in even more patients – a huge problem as many hospitals are already over 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 positivity rate in the United States has gone from around 12% to around 10%. These are really tangible signs that the crisis is slowing down. And now almost certainly will be another peak. ”

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And unlike previous holidays, the Christmas-New Year combo spans an entire week.

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

“We saw this after Memorial Day, after July 4th, after Labor Day. And these holidays have been relatively short compared to Christmas and New Years.

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

Covid-19 patients are occupying more intensive care beds

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

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 United States Department of Health and Human Services.

200 hospitals have reached capacity and 1/3 of all US hospitals are almost running out of intensive care space200 hospitals have reached full capacity and 1/3 of all US hospitals are almost running out of intensive care space

This is an increase 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.

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

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

As hospitals begin to peak, medical workers crave new Covid-19 mandatesAs hospitals begin to peak, medical workers crave new Covid-19 mandates

At this rate, the Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena is preparing for the “ultimate triage,” she said.

And since most Americans can’t get their shots until the end of next year, the US faces a “surge on a wave” following a vacation trip, said Dr Anthony Fauci, director. from the National Institutes of Health.

“As we move into 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 first spotted in the UK, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced new testing requirements for travelers from from the United Kingdom. What this new strain of coronavirus means to youWhat this new strain of coronavirus means to youThe new rules will take effect on Monday. Passengers must have undergone a negative PCR or antigen test within 72 hours of boarding a flight from the UK to the US, along with documentation of their lab results.

Airlines will need to confirm the test before the flight.

So far dozens of countries have banned travelers from the UK. 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 behind the first two vaccines to get emergency clearance in the United States – Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna – are testing their vaccines to confirm their effectiveness against the new strain.

Vaccine deployment slower than expected

About 2 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in the United States, according to the CDC. In total, more than 9.5 million doses have been distributed.

Operation Warp Speed ​​has promised 20 million vaccinations by 2021. So far, it's not even closeOperation Warp Speed ​​has promised 20 million vaccinations by 2021. So far, it's not even closeThese figures now include the Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines. And although there are lags in reporting the data, federal officials previously said they were working to distribute 20 million doses by the end of the year.

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

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

Dr Esther Choo, professor of emergency medicine at Oregon Health & Science University, said vaccine distribution was “just a very complicated thing.”

Novavax vaccine becomes fifth to begin phase 3 trials in USNovavax vaccine becomes fifth to begin Phase 3 trials in US

“At every stage there is complexity and there is the possibility of delay, whether it is individual planning of the condition, allocation, training, provision of vaccines, storage… there (are) so many factors at this point, ”Choo said.

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

With vaccines likely not widely available until the summer, experts have urged Americans not to let their guard down. This means continuing to wear masks, washing your hands frequently, and socializing.

Why collective immunity is a moving target

Fauci shares Biden's concern that 'darkest days' may be ahead in fight against Covid-19Fauci shares Biden's concern that 'darkest days' may be ahead in fight against Covid-19For the United States to achieve herd immunity through vaccination, 70 to 85 percent of the population would need to be vaccinated, Fauci said.

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

He said the reason he initially said 70% to 75% and then increased the high end to 85% “was really 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 pure estimates and the calculations I made, 70 to 75% is a range. ”

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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 the 90%, that’s where I got to the 85. ”

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

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