The White House COVID working group is sending strong warnings to Texans over the age of 65

WASHINGTON – The White House Coronavir Task Force is asking Texas and other states to conduct “aggressive impact assessments” of people under the age of 40 to determine who may have become infected on Thanksgiving. He warned that the COVID risk for Americans had reached a “historic peak”.

“We are in a very dangerous position due to the current extremely high COVID baseline and limited hospital capacity,” the task force said in a November 29 report prepared and published by ABC News. “Another wave after Thanksgiving is jeopardizing COVID patient care as well as general medical care.”

“FULL SOURCE”: The White House report calls on Texas to step up its mitigation efforts on COVID-19

The report, one of the weekly updates that Texas officials rejected from the public, urges health officials to avoid state leaders and issue an alert if “state and local policies do not reflect the seriousness of the current situation. ”.

Governor Greg Abbott announced Wednesday that the Center for Disease Prevention and Control is sending 1.4 million doses of COVID-19 to Texas. They are expected to arrive in mid-December and be distributed “quickly”.

The vaccine requires two doses, the second being given three to one month after the first. The state estimates that there are 1.6 million health workers in Texas who would be among the initial beneficiaries. The second batch will be delivered in January.

Public health officials believe most people are likely to have to wait a long time for vaccinations, and on Wednesday the CDC leader issued a grim forecast for the months ahead as winter sets in and people consider whether to travel and gather. holidays.

“The reality will be hard times in December, January and February,” CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “In fact, I think they will be the most difficult period in the public health history of this nation.”

He predicted that “before we see February, we could be close to 450,000 Americans [who] they died of this virus. “

Texas advised testing teachers weekly

The United States first released more than 200,000 new cases in a single day on Wednesday. Texas, meanwhile, counted 14,626 new cases, resulting in an increase of more than 1 percent, which raised the entire country to 1,258,011. The nationwide positive test rate reached 14.35 percent, the highest since early August, and the state suffered 216 new deaths.

According to a recent White House report, new Texas hospital admissions are “on peak” and warn that people over the age of 65 or in significant health should not enter indoor spaces where people may not wear a mask. They have to deliver food and medicine, the report said.

Those under the age of 40 should say, “We must assume that we became infected during Thanksgiving if they gathered outside your immediate household.”

“You probably won’t have any symptoms,” the report says, “but it’s dangerous to others and you need to isolate it from anyone at increased risk for a serious illness and test it right away. “

The report reiterates the previous week’s recommendations that Texas significantly reduce maximum utilization of public and private indoor spaces and conduct weekly coronavirus testing from teachers, college students, county workers, hospital staff, and others.

According to the report, Texas is heading for a “complete revival” of COVID-19 and the state’s mitigation efforts must “intensify”.

The White House sends such reports to the states on a weekly basis, and some states publish them on a regular basis. Texas is not.

Texas Take: You can send political headlines directly from all parts of the state to your mailbox

In Texas, local officials were looking for new ways to tackle major epidemics.

More curfews at Christmas?

San Antonio and Bexar counties imposed a curfew on Thanksgiving in the wake of El Paso County, which introduced similar measures earlier this month. The curfew so far appears to be one of the few local restrictions that has not posed legal challenges to the state. They are also being considered by Houston officials.

“The last resource we have as a local official, at least within the arsenal, is to introduce a curfew to just stop at a certain point in time,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

Abbott assured the public last month that local officials have all the tools they need to slow the epidemics, including a requirement for Texans to wear masks indoors in public places and when sponsoring businesses.

Abbott has also introduced mandatory occupancy reductions, including bar closures, in regions where COVID-19 patients use 15 percent or more of hospital capacity for one day a week.

However, Abbott refused to move on, instead focusing his treatment on his message and advertising a newly approved drug as evidence that “the cavalry was coming”.

The distribution of COVID-19 vaccines by the state is expected to begin on December 14th. They work first in health care and on the front, and work as the most vulnerable. Additional doses could be sent to Texas later in December, and more are expected in January and beyond, the governor’s office said.

“The state of Texas is already prepared for the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine, and these vaccines will be quickly distributed to Texans who choose to immunize voluntarily,” Abbott said in a statement. “While we await the first delivery of the vaccines, we will work with communities to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

Fellow writer Jeremy Blackman contributed to Austin.

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