A patient arrives in front of Maimonides Medical Center as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Brooklyn, New York, USA, November 17, 2020.
Brendan McDermid Reuters
The United States reported more than 195,500 new cases of coronavirus on Friday, a record high jump less than a week before Thanksgiving, which public health officials warn could further exacerbate the outbreak.
The jump of nearly 200,000 cases on Friday led to a seven-day average of more than 1
The increase in cases leads to an increase in hospitalizations and deaths. More than 82,100 people are currently hospitalized with Covid-19 nationwide, more than at any time before during the pandemic, according to data from the COVID tracking project, which is run by journalists at The Atlantic.
The Atlantic received data earlier this week from the Department of Health and Human Services showing that about 20 percent of U.S. hospitals are facing or are expected to face staff shortages last week.
More than 1,800 people in the United States died from Covid-19 on Friday, according to Hopkins. The nation has registered more than 1,500 deaths every day since Tuesday, with no deaths since May. The United States registered more than 2,000 deaths on Thursday.
Earlier this week, Dr. Henry Walk, head of the Covid-19 incident at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the agency was “concerned” by the “exponential increase in cases and hospitalizations and deaths.” At the agency’s first official briefing in months, he urged Americans not to travel to Thanksgiving events.
Public health professionals and epidemiologists are concerned that Thanksgiving could exacerbate an already severe outbreak across the country. Dr Tom Frieden, the former CDC director who was appointed by President Barack Obama, said on Twitter on Friday that if “we are not much more careful than we plan to be, this Thanksgiving will be a Super Bowl of over-reading events . “
Dr Bill Schaffner, an epidemiologist at Vanderbilt University, said he was “very concerned” about the holiday weekend. He said that even if people had plans to practice social distancing during Thanksgiving, such protocols “would become less complete by the end of the day, especially after a glass or three eggs.”
“We will be grateful, but we will also give the virus, I’m afraid,” he said in a telephone interview. “People will take them home. They will be spread in the family and to neighbors and friends.”