More than 205,000 new cases were reported on Friday – probably in some cases consisting of Thursday and Friday reports, as at least 20 states did not report their Covid-19 number on Thanksgiving Day.
And while there’s more good news on the vaccination front, for now, Americans need to “pop up” and prepare for the difficult winter ahead, according to emergency doctor Dr. Leana Wen and a visiting professor at the Milken Institute School in George Washington University. public health.
“We can’t let our guard down,” he told CNN Friday night. “Vaccinations will make a big difference in the spring and summer; now they won’t change.”
In the U.S., based on current Covid-19 numbers, the country is far from around the corner, he said.
“If there’s something, we turn the corner into one blow,” Wen said. “We will soon exceed well over 2,000, perhaps 3,000 and 4,000 deaths every day here in the United States.”
This prediction has been echoed by other experts, including Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a medical professor at George Washington University, who predicts the country’s daily mortality rate is likely to double over the next 10 days.
A busy travel weekend is expected
Thanksgiving trips and gatherings over the past week are likely to only increase the number of cases, experts say, and will soon warn of another leap.
Reiner previously described the holiday as “potentially the mother of all overspending events,” with Americans leaving all of the country’s airports and possibly carrying the virus with them, often unconsciously.
To prevent the virus from spreading further, everyone who has traveled outside their household and been at gatherings should be quarantined.
“This is because these gatherings, especially indoor gatherings with many people who don’t wear a mask for a long time, pose the greatest risk of transmitting the coronavirus,” he said on Friday. “We quarantine it for at least seven days and then test it.”
“If you can’t get a test because the tests are still limited, you have to be quarantined for 14 days. And I mean full quarantine, don’t go to work, don’t go to school, keep yourself safe.”
Los Angeles County under closure order
As several local and state leaders enforce stricter restrictions to curb the spread of the virus, Los Angeles county health officials announced a new home-staying order on Friday rather than banning all public and private meetings with people outside a single household.
“Residents are advised to stay at home as much as possible and always wear face shields over their noses and mouths when they are outside their household and around others,” the county’s public health department said in a statement.
The order will take effect on Monday and run until December 20, the announcement said.
Basic businesses will have to operate at 35% occupancy, while non-core retail operations, personal care services and libraries will operate at 20% occupancy.
“We know we ask a lot from so many who have been sacrificing for months, and we hope LA County residents will continue to follow public health safety measures that we know could slow the spread,” Barbara Ferrer, the county’s director of population, said in her health department.
“Acting with collective urgency is essential if we are to stop this wave. Please stay home as much as possible and do not gather with others who are not in your household for the next three weeks,” Ferrer added.
Meanwhile, New Mexico’s two-week public finance “restoration” ordinance will move to a county-reopening framework next week, the governor announced on Friday.
Counties where the virus is more common will operate under several restrictions, according to the governor’s office.
The first mass vaccine delivery by air
“As a result of the historic pace of vaccine development through Operation Warp Speed and careful logistics planning, the FAA is today supporting the first mass airlift of vaccines,” the FAA said in a statement.
The agency said it set up a Covid-19 vaccine aviation team last month to ensure “safe, fast and effective delivery of vaccines.”
It claims to work with manufacturers, air carriers and airports to provide guidance for the safe transport of large quantities of dry ice in air freight.
Meanwhile, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices convened an emergency meeting on Tuesday to vote on which groups of people they recommend should receive Covid-19 vaccine first if they get it.
“Significant progress has been made in improving and advancing vaccine availability,” Rick Bright, a member of President-elect Joe Biden’s Coronavir Advisory Board, said Friday.
The committee usually meets after a vaccination has been authorized to make their recommendations.
“Now we see the CDC moving forward, very proactive and having some such early discussions before the vaccine is even approved by the FDA, so they are ready for that data when it comes to them,” Bright said.
CNN’s Pete Muntean, Andy Rose and Sarah Moon contributed to this report.