With more than 53 million Americans projected to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, public health officials are eyeing upticks in COVID-19 infections, especially across the Northeast and Upper Midwest.
The seven-day U.S. average of new coronavirus cases increased nearly 30% in roughly the past three weeks, and the U.S. is currently averaging more than 90,000 new infections each day, U.S. News & World Report reported, citing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
According to The New York Times, new nationwide COVID-19 infections remain well below both those recorded in early September, after summer cases peaked, and those reported last Thanksgiving. However, more than 30 states are witnessing sustained upticks in the number of new infections, and hospitalizations are already mounting in the hardest-hit areas, the newspaper reported.
According to the Times, federal medical teams have been sent to assist overwhelmed Minnesota hospitals; daily caseloads in Michigan have doubled since Nov. 1; and Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire are working feverishly to contain major outbreaks.
“This thing is no longer just throwing curveballs at us — it’s throwing 210 mile-an-hour curveballs at us,” Michael Osterholm, an epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota, told the newspaper.
Meanwhile, Missouri and Delaware are also experiencing substantial surges in new daily cases, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
In turn, public health officials are nervously eyeing the winter months as roughly 60 million Americans remain unvaccinated against COVID-19, according to U.S. News & World Report.
“We have a lot of virus circulating around,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.
“You can’t walk away from the data, and the data show that the cases are starting to go up, which is not unexpected when you get into a winter season. People start to go indoors more, and we know that immunity does wane over time,” he added.
To learn more, read The New York Times’ complete report.
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