“We will easily reach six-digit numbers by number of cases,” Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Diseases Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told CNN on Friday night. “And deaths will rise sharply over the next three to four weeks, usually following new cases by about two to three weeks.”
This comes as the average seven-day cases of new daily cases in the country exceeded 63,000 on Friday – an 84% increase since the average began to rise in mid-September, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Health officials say the steep slopes follow the reopening of schools and colleges in the United States and are largely caused by small gatherings ̵
And that’s a few popular holidays ahead, when health officials are worried that more Americans could relax and choose to visit family and friends and cause more jumps.
“It would be really great to share with all of you on Thanksgiving that our numbers are declining as we enter the holiday season,” he said on Friday. “That we have a growing capacity of the hospital. Our schools remain open, that our business is open this holiday season.”
34 countries report an increase in cases
At least 34 countries have reported more new cases of Covid-19 in the past week than in the previous week, according to data from John Hopkins. In Georgia, health officials reported the highest number of one-day cases on Friday since early September. For the third day in a row, health officials in Ohio reported a record number of new daily cases, and in Oklahoma, officials reported more than 1,000 new infections for the fourth day in a row.
Illinois Director of Public Health Dr. Ngozi Ezike makes an emotional appeal to residents about the importance of facial coverage.
“As we see the numbers increase in hospitals, people are bringing more beds, trying to prepare again for Kovid’s units. And this staff who went through all this pain to try to save as many people as possible, see the repetition of the story itself, “she said. “We don’t have a vaccine yet, but we have a mask and we ask people to use it and I don’t know what else we can say.”
And Colorado officials have issued a new order limiting gatherings to 10 people from no more than two households in response to climbing infections and hospitalizations.
“We need to keep meetings smaller and with people from fewer households – we ask everyone to ‘shrink their bubble’ to reduce the spread,” Colorado Department of Health and Environment Executive Director Jill Hunsser Ryan said in a statement news from friday.
“This is not a workout”
Despite worrying trends, health officials maintain basic public health measures that can help turn things around: masks, social distancing, crowd avoidance, and frequent hand washing.
“It sounds very simple, but we don’t do it uniformly, and that’s one of the reasons we’re seeing these jumps,” Dr Anthony Fauci said on Friday. “We can control them without stopping the country.”
“I think it would be a great idea for everyone to do it the same,” he said. “If people don’t wear masks, then maybe we should impose it,” he said.
A senior World Health Organization official on Friday also called on the country’s leaders to “take immediate action to prevent further unnecessary deaths, basic health services to collapse and schools to be closed again.”
“As I said in February and I repeat today, this is not a training session,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Gebreesus told a news conference.
Expert: The vaccine may not come this year
Although many experts and officials have worked to give reliable estimates of when Covid-19 will be available, this timetable remains uncertain.
The director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, said Friday that while he was “cautiously optimistic” about allowing the vaccine in the United States by the end of the year, he said “it may not happen and take longer.” .
But Collins added that it was good news that the United States had developed more than one vaccine candidate.
“If you bet everything on one vaccine, I would be much more worried,” he said.
And once the vaccine is approved, experts say it’s crucial enough for Americans to get it. If only half the country wants to be vaccinated, Collins warned, Covid-19 could remain for years.
“When I look at the attitudes that now exist for this vaccine, and who would be interested in taking it, it’s really disturbing,” Collins said at the National Press Club’s virtual event. “I spoke so optimistically about how likely it is that we will have a vaccine by the end of the year, but if only 50% of Americans are interested in getting it, we will never get to the point of immunity of the population where Covid-19 goes.
CNN’s Alta Spells, Shelby Lin Erdman, Gisela Crespo, Naomi Thomas and Jacqueline Howard contributed to this report.