American coronavirus: There is light at the end of the tunnel, but Covid-19 will be the “worst case scenario” in the coming months, says expert

What follows is probably the country’s “worst-case scenario in terms of overcrowded hospitals in terms of deaths,” emergency doctor Dr. Leana Wen says.

“There are just so many viruses in our community,” he said.

A grim reality is already reflected in the numbers. There have been more than 200,000 new cases a day in the last two days. And as the number of infections increases, the United States has added one million cases every six days to its total value over the past three weeks.

For the first time this week, hospital treatments reached six numbers, with more than 100,600 Covid-19 patients nationwide. COVID tracking project.

And on Thursday, the U.S. reported more than 2,800 Covid-19 deaths in a row on Thursday – breaking a terrible record a day earlier.

Health systems under stress

Senior health officials have long warned that the growing number of cases will be followed by a higher number of hospitals, which could cripple health care systems across the country. U.S. hospitals and professionals are now on the alert.

Marvin O’Quinn, president and chief operating officer of CommonSpirit Health, which operates hospitals in 21 states, told CNN that the number of patients in each hospital is growing.

“There are currently roughly 2,100 positive cases available in our hospitals. This is an increase of almost 70% since November 11,” O’Quinn said. “We see about 70-100 new cases a day.”

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In Pennsylvania, just under 5,000 people will be hospitalized with Covid-19, and two parts of the state are closer to staff shortages, health minister Dr. Rachel Levine said Thursday.

“It’s so important to remember that we all need to be aware that we all have a role to play in what’s going on in hospitals,” Levine said. “You may not need hospital care right now; you may not currently have a loved one in the hospital. But what happens in our hospitals has a direct impact on you. It directly affects the mitigation steps you need to take to stop the virus from spreading.”

“The people who run our health care system expect them to do the right thing,” she continued.

In Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine has warned that hospitals are not only in crisis, but also that “the crisis is getting worse and worse.”

Dr. Andy Thomas, of Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University, told reporters that one-third of ICU patients across the state were Covid-19 positive. In some rural hospitals, Covid-19 patients accounted for 60% of the intensive migrant population, Thomas added.

“It’s not sustainable for those hospitals to be able to manage,” Thomas said. “Hospitals in the intensive care unit have the hardest time increasing capacity or increasing the number of beds.”

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And the effects of Thanksgiving gatherings and travels have not yet been seen in national hospitals – another wave is expected in the coming weeks.

Michael Osterholm, a member of the Covid-19 Advisory Board for Transitional President Joe Biden, said urgent action is needed to curb the spread and prevent hospitals from being “overrun”.

“I’d rather do it now and try to avoid future cases than wait until I try to put this in place when the house is on fire so much that we’ve actually crossed our business cliff and the hospitals have basically literally gone over it,” he said. – We face it.

New strict measures

According to the state health department, hospitals in California treat approximately 2,066 Covid-19 patients in the intensive care unit. This is the highest number since the beginning of the pandemic.
The gloomy number comes when Governor Gavin Newsom announced a strict regional home order. The order takes effect 48 hours after hospital intensive care unit capacity drops below 15% in one of the state’s five regions: Northern California, the Bay Area, Greater Sacramento, the San Joaquin Valley, and Southern California.
California issues a regional home order to break the Covid-19 record wave

Forecasts show that four of the five regions will reach this threshold in the coming days, and only the Gulf region is expected to remain open from mid-December to late, Newsom said.

“We are at a turning point in the fight against the virus and we now need to take decisive action to prevent the California hospital system from being overloaded in the coming weeks,” he said.

Delaware Governor John Carney on Thursday announced home-stay counseling urging residents to avoid indoor gatherings with anyone outside their household from Dec. 14 to Jan. 11. The state also requires residents to wear face shields at all times. inside with someone who is not in his household, the governor’s office said.
“There is a vaccination on the way, but make no mistake, we are facing the hardest few months of the crisis,” the governor said in a statement. “I know we’re all tired of COVID-19 – but it’s not tired of us. We’re begging Delawareans to do the right thing.”

Meanwhile, the closing of the Navajo Nation, which expires this weekend, will be extended for another three weeks.

“Our health professionals are now saying that the current wave or wave is much more severe and problematic than the April and May wave,” President Jonathan Nez said in a written statement on Thursday.

During the closure, Navajo citizens are required to stay home at all times, except for basic activities, emergencies, and outdoor exercise.

Governors expect the first doses of vaccine to arrive soon

Meanwhile, local and state leaders have begun to provide updates on when their first vaccination is expected to arrive. No vaccine has received emergency approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that the city is expected to receive the first round of Covid-19 vaccinations in about 12 days. The initial doses are given by Pfizer, and in about a week the city will receive vaccinations from Moderna, de Blasio said.

The priority will be to give vaccinations to high-risk health workers as well as those working in and living in nursing homes, the mayor said.

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“Over time, there will be enough vaccinations for everyone,” de Blasio said, but for the time being, the city is working on “the fastest and most efficient distribution”.

In New Hampshire, the governor announced that the state is expected to receive the first doses of Pfizer vaccine in the third week of December, adding that the Moderna vaccine will occur the following week.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said he expects about 300,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine by the end of the month. Health workers, residents of long-term care facilities and staff will “definitely be at the top of the list” for the first batches, Baker said as the state prepares to officially release its distribution plan on Friday.

Redfield, the head of the CDC, adopted the Covid-19 vaccination recommendations, which were voted on this week by the agency’s advisory committee on immunization practices.
Advisers voted 13-1 on Tuesday to recommend that health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities be the first to receive FDA-approved vaccinations. But top federal health officials say the CDC’s guidance is just that – guidance.

States can use these recommendations, as well as the advice of other experts, to prepare the best allocation plans for their residents based on their own circumstances, Health and Human Resources Minister Alex Azar said on Thursday.

What challenges lie ahead

Chief health officials are constantly working on how vaccine distribution would work best among different communities if one gets the green light.

“There’s a huge gap between the loading dock and an individual’s arm,” said Rick Bright, a member of the Biden Transition Covid-19 Advisory Board. “We are looking very carefully at the complex path that exists between the production of a vaccine and the actual administration and administration of the vaccine.

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“We understand that much work still needs to be done at the local, state, and tribal and territorial levels to ensure that there is an infrastructure for administering vaccines to make sure there are people in place and trained to be able to administer them. vaccinations, “he said.

He further said they are still working to ensure that there are messengers in every community that inform residents “in all the languages ​​needed to ensure that people understand the value of that vaccine and trust that vaccination, and stand up to the vaccine. to receive the vaccine. “

According to Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, co-chair of the advisory board, the biggest challenge still lies ahead.

“We know from our most severely affected communities that there is a degree of hesitation and caution about vaccinations,” he told NBC News.

“We need to do that to find out what issues people have,” he said. “At the same time, we must recognize that trust between the Americans and the federal government has deteriorated, and work will be needed to restore and restore trust.”

CNN’s Andrea Diaz, Taylor Romine, Andy Rose, Cheri Mossburg, Rebekah Riess, Ganesh Setty, Shelby Lin Erdman, Sahar Akbarzai, Jon Passantino and Evan Simko-Bednarski contributed to this report.