As large parts of California went back into lockdown and healthcare systems in many states began to waver under the strain, new cases of Covid-19 in the US remained above 200,000 on Saturday, with more than 2,000 deaths. click full article
Johns Hopkins University recorded 213,875 new cases, down from nearly 228,000 on Friday in a week of surging figures after a Thanksgiving lull in record-keeping. Amid figures worsened by holiday travel and gatherings whose full impact experts say is not yet apparent, there were 2,254 new deaths, making the full death toll 280,979 from nearly 14.6m cases. There were 101,190 hospitalisations, according to the Covid Tracking Project, slightly down on Friday’s record. The seven-day rolling average of deaths has passed 2,000 for the first time since spring. Two weeks ago, it was 1,448. click full article
What’s clear from the data is that Covid-19 migrated across the country to new regions this fall. In the spring, hospitalizations were overwhelmingly concentrated in the Northeast. In the summer, more than half of hospitalized Covid-19 patients were in the South and West: states like Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, and Texas. Now, every state is battling an active outbreak, and many of them are severe.
Over the course of the pandemic, America has been engaged in a massive and uncontrolled mask experiment: Some jurisdictions implemented and enforced mask mandates; others rejected them as public health guidance became politicized. President Donald Trump has repeatedly questioned and even scorned the use of masks, and several Republican governors have followed his lead. President-elect Joe Biden, meanwhile, has called for a national mask mandate and for Americans to wear masks for the “first 100 days” he is in office, as vaccines roll out.
On NBC’s Meet the Press, White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr Deborah Birx said: “The vaccine’s critical. But it’s not going to save us from this current surge. Only we can save us from this current surge.” The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has now advised the wearing of masks indoors anywhere except the home.
Although cases are surging in America, high case rates per day were reported in Italy (993) and Poland (620) last week, which when adjusted for population would have equated to over 5,400 cases per day in America. Switzerland also reported 88 cases on one day last week, which would have equated to over 5,000 cases in America when adjusted for population. This indicates that the US could have some way to go unless mask wearing becomes the norm, although this is unlikely. At least California is applying lockdown policies similar to the UK.