Government officials are pressing the importance of staying home this Thanksgiving as COVID-19 continues to burn like wildfire through every region of the nation. Here is a look at the latest COVID-19 news and developments.
Alarming New Report Demonstrates Spike in Infections in Children: The further that we get into the global pandemic, the more that medical experts are learning about its effects on children. On Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released new data demonstrating that there were over 144,000 new confirmed cases in children last week alone.Read More »
More Records Shattered Every Day: According to John Hopkins University, the US has reported over 12 million confirmed COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. The grimmest figure is the over 257,000 deaths attributed to the devastating virus. The COVID-19 Tracking Project said that at least 83,000 patients were hospitalized with the virus on Sunday, setting a record for the 13th straight day in a row.
Because of the increasing amounts of hospitalizations, many hospitals are at their breaking point when it comes to accepting new patients. ICUs all over the country are reaching capacity, compromising the quality of care that can be provided to everyone. Some medical facilities are being forced to cancel elective surgeries and close pediatric units to make room for COVID-19 patients. Those areas that have reached capacity in hospital rooms are needing to divert patients elsewhere for care, triggering a worrisome trickle-down effect.
A new modeling forecast out of Washington University in St. Louis predicts that the US may see up to 20 million total cases of the virus by Inauguration Day on January 20. The upcoming holiday season is primarily to blame for the large uptick in predicted infections. In addition, Americans are starting to let down their guard about the virus.
More Positive Vaccine News: Anyone looking for something to celebrate amidst the darkness of the pandemic should look at the promising vaccine news. On Monday, pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca announced that its vaccine boasted an average efficacy of 70% during the trial period. While this is markedly less than the 95% efficacy reported by Pfizer and Moderna, the AstraZeneca vaccine does not require the use of ultra-cold freezers to retain its effectiveness.
In addition, supplemental data indicates that the AstraZeneca vaccine may show a higher rate of efficacy when broken down into doses. The drugmaker said that it needs further research to determine what the sweet spot will be in administering this vaccine in order to see the best results.
The best news is that AstraZeneca reports no safety concerns with its vaccine.
Travelers Take to the Road: Despite the surge in cases all across the board, people are still choosing to forge ahead with Thanksgiving travel plans. According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), over one million travelers went through security at airports across the nation on Sunday. Roughly this same amount of people also traveled through airports on Friday.
This represents a sharp uptick in airline travel at the worst stage of the pandemic thus far. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encouraged Americans to cancel Thanksgiving travel plans and choose to stay home instead. Health experts fear that there will be a substantial spike in new cases in the coming weeks as families introduce new infections over the holiday weekend.
Government officials in many states are going so far as to say that college students returning home for the holiday should not celebrate with family members. Instead, officials are asking students to remain on campus rather than risk bringing the virus home to family members or taking it back to school.
Post-COVID Syndrome: On Monday, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned Americans about a growing number of patients experiencing what he referred to as a post-COVID syndrome. The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) said that new research is finding that between 20% and 30% of people who experienced symptoms with COVID-19 go on to develop this syndrome after the infection.
The symptoms can linger weeks and even months after the infection has passed. These symptoms include shortness of breath, difficulties controlling the internal body temperature, extreme fatigue, sleep disturbances, and issues focusing and concentrating. These symptoms are more likely to occur in patients who were seriously ill with the virus, particularly among the group of people who had been admitted to the ICU.
Los Angeles County Announces New Restrictions: In response to a rapid rise in confirmed infections, Los Angeles County announced that it was going to enact new restrictions for restaurants and bars. The county is closing all dining at restaurants, breweries, bars, and wineries for at least three weeks beginning this Wednesday at 10 pm. Prior to this restriction, outdoor dining was allowed. Under the new guidelines, establishments are only allowed to provide takeout, delivery, and drive-thru service.
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