Kentucky Gov. Andy Bashir said the state was seeing a “real and significant increase in cases and a level of positivity from the gatherings around the holiday.”
“This leap we are currently in is at least twice the severity of previous jumps we have seen,” the governor added. “This is our most dangerous time.”
On Friday, Colorado state epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlichy warned of “early signs” of an increase in Covid-19 cases. “We’re starting to see the impact of the holidays in our data,” she said. Health experts estimate that about 105 people are currently infected, Herlichy added.
“We continue to see a large percentage of the Colorado population actively infected with Covid-1
This is a warning repeated in other states since the beginning of the New Year.
The Arkansas governor said earlier this month that the state “is certainly on the rise after Christmas.” And Mississippi officials said Monday that the state has experienced more Covid-19 patients in the intensive care unit than ever and is preparing for a new rise in the number of viruses after the holidays.
“We are looking forward to another leap after the holidays,” said state health official Dr. Thomas Dobbs. “It’s a recurring topic, it’s not something that should be too surprising. And it happens and when we have full intensive care units, our hospitals are really overcrowded.”
“So I think this is an event that is likely to lead to a significant spread,” he added.
It was a deadly week in the United States
“Public health has reported more than 200 deaths a day this week,” officials said in a news release. “By comparison, the county has an average of about 170 deaths each day from all other causes combined, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, car accidents, suicides and homicides.”
CDC downloads “US version” reports
Meanwhile, more than 60 cases of the Covid-19 variant, first identified in the United Kingdom, have already been identified in eight US states, according to CDC data.
The CDC said the number did not represent the total number of cases circulating in the country, but only those detected by positive analysis. Although the variant appears to be more easily spread, there is no evidence that it is more deadly or causes a more serious illness, the agency said.
Academic researchers also said they were puzzled by the reports, adding that there was no evidence that variant versions of the virus stimulated its spread in the United States.
“I don’t know of an option that has been identified in the United States that is responsible for the growth we’re seeing,” said Scott Hensley, a virus and immunity expert at the University of Pennsylvania.
“There are many reasons why infection rates have increased in the fall and winter,” he added. “The increase in cases does not necessarily need a genetic explanation.”
States are calling for the help of non-traditional vaccinators
Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr Stephen Hahn said on Friday that he encouraged countries to expand the criteria for who can be vaccinated against Covid-19, as some countries have used only about 30 to 35% of the current vaccines they have. he added.
In other parts of the country, health systems are extracting well-trained students, nurses, medics and dentists from a well to help with the effort. Others are looking for retired health professionals who have the skills to administer vaccines and do not actively care for Covid-19 patients.
Fauci: Second dose of Covid-19 vaccine “critical”
Getting the second dose of Moderna of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine is essential for optimal protection, Dr. Anthony Fauchi said on Friday.
“The second dose is absolutely critical,” he said. One dose of the two vaccines, Fautsi added, “has not been shown to be as effective as we want, and we don’t know how long the protection lasts.”
“Whatever you hear, one dose of Moderna and one dose of Pfizer are not optimal,” he said. “Optimal is one dose of Pfizer followed by amplification for 21 days. Or one dose of Moderna followed by 28 days with amplification if you want optimal protection and optimal durability.”
Moderna says she believes the second dose of her vaccine can be effectively administered between 21 and 42 days after the first dose, a company spokesman told CNN.
Asked whether Moderna would be able to produce enough extra vaccine to receive second doses given on day 28, the company declined to respond directly.
CNN’s Gisela Crespo, John Bonifield, Lauren Mascarenhas, Naomi Thomas, Betsy Klein, Jim Acosta, Maggie Fox, Michael Nedelman and Melissa Alonso contributed to this report.