The U.S. continued to report more than 100,000 new cases of coronavirus daily over the holiday weekend, as experts warned that widespread Thanksgiving trips could cause a boom in the coming weeks.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the number of new Covid-19 cases reported in the United States exceeded 200,000 for the first time on Friday. Since January, when the first infections were reported in the United States, the total number of cases has exceeded 13 million. More than 265,000 people died.
Good news came on Monday as Moderna said it was seeking US permission to use the coronavirus vaccine. The company announced the end result of the trial, which it said proved 94% efficiency.
Data from Moderna will be considered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on December 17th. The company said it is expected that there will be a ready dose for 10 million people in the United States by the end of December. Pfizer and BioNTech filed an application for emergency use on November 20th.
News of Moderna’s progress came when the number of hospitalizations in the U.S. hit record highs.
According to the Covid Tracking Project, 93,238 patients were hospitalized on Sunday, a steady rise from 47,531 in early November, which puts a greater strain on workers and resources as winter approaches.
Despite severe warnings from federal authorities, including the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), millions of Americans traveled this weekend near the end of Thanksgiving.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergic and Infectious Diseases, said this could cause spikes in cases and warned that the rate of infection in the United States does not “turn suddenly”.
“Unfortunately, we expect to leave in the next few weeks, in December, it could be that we’re seeing a wave that gets on the already existing wave,” Fauci told NBC on Sunday.
According to Fauci, it is not too late for people returning home after Thanksgiving to help curb the virus by wearing masks, keeping them away from others, and avoiding large groups.
According to statistics from the Department of Transportation, 800,000 and more than a million passengers traveled through U.S. airport checkpoints a day last week as airports recorded the highest number of trips since the start of the pandemic.
Wednesday was the busiest air travel day since mid-March, with 1,070,967 passengers clarifying airport security, the Washington Post reported. In the early days of the pandemic, the daily total fell below 100,000 on some days.
The impact of mass travel and Thanksgiving gatherings could mean a flood of new occasions just before Christmas.
“If we look at people who are in the hospital today, they got infected two weeks ago, maybe even more,” Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a medical professor at George Washington University, told CNN. “And then it usually takes another week for people to surrender to the disease.”