The United States has registered more than 171,000 new cases, Johns Hopkins University reported. A record number of patients are hospitalized, more than 88,000, the highest number of Covid-19 hospital care since the start of the pandemic and the 15th day of admission, according to the Covid Tracking Project.
Despite these huge statistics, millions of Americans travel to Thanksgiving to spend the holiday with their family and friends. They are packed into airports and airplanes, ignoring the guidelines of the U.S. Center for Disease Prevention and Control, which is advising against this year’s trip.
In the U.S., an explosion of Covid-19 infections can be seen in the weeks after Thanksgiving, Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a former White House medical adviser at CNN, said Tuesday.
Many health officials believe the Midwest launched Covid-19 last summer from one such event, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota, Reiner said.
“Now imagine this en masse – people from all U.S. airports are carrying virus with them,” he added.
Americans insist on Covid-19 tests before they travel, but Brett Giroir, an assistant health minister, said at a news conference on Tuesday that it doesn’t bother that the test isn’t necessarily a good way to assess an individual’s well-being. to travel unless it has a positive result, which in this case means staying at home.
The pre-trip Covid-19 test is beneficial in the sense that it can alert a person to a positive result, “and that’s a good thing,” he said, but it doesn’t necessarily indicate that someone is infected at that moment.
For example, if a person is infected with Covid-19 and performs a test a day or two later, there may not be enough viral RNA to detect the virus.
So testing as a litmus test will not work unless it shows a positive result and the person stays home as a result, Reiner said.
“I think I want people to understand, more importantly, today’s negative test doesn’t mean you’ll be negative tomorrow, the next day or the next day,” Giroir told CNN. “This negative test should not be passed on to risky behavior.”
Getting the test isn’t a problem, but a negative test “doesn’t give you free admission,” he said.
The United States “is at a critical and very dangerous point in this pandemic, where cases are growing in almost every country and our hospital capacity is growing … this really calls this into question,” Giroir added.
“It’s a dangerous situation, but it’s reversible,” he said.
Public health officials, including Giroir, stressed ongoing mitigation efforts such as mask use, social distancing, avoiding crowded places, and frequent hand washing as a means to control the spread of Covid-19 and ultimately curve down.