And as the virus runs smoothly in American communities, experts warn that the coming weeks are likely to be brutal and the death toll from the pandemic will continue to rise.
By Dec. 18, more than 2,300 Americans could lose their lives every day, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Assessment at the University of Washington (IHME).
“We expect daily deaths to peak at more than 2,500 a day in mid-January,” the IHME modeling team wrote on Thursday.
The group also increased its death toll for Covid-19, now forecasting a total of 471,000 deaths in the United States by March 1 – more than 30,000 since their last estimate about a week ago.
“Sometimes it’s very frustrating because we know what works,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Thursday night. “If we all had to get together as a country, to do the basic things we talk about, wearing a mask, keeping our distance, avoiding common settings and crowds, doing things outdoors … these are not big things. This is easy to do. “
These simple measures can be life-saving. According to the IHME team, 65,000 lives could be saved by March 1 if 95% of Americans wear masks.
Doctors, nurses, hospitals are asking the public to celebrate responsibly
“The record-breaking increase is leading to an uncontrolled spread in the community and an infection that has already overwhelmed health systems in some areas and will eventually consume the capacity of our health system and could reduce access to care in many parts of our country,” I said.
“What is at stake is the increased chance that someone close to you will get sick and then be hospitalized and die around the holidays,” Dr. Henry Walk, CDC’s Covid-19 incident manager, told reporters at Conference Call.
And because the CDC has previously estimated that at least 40% of infections are asymptomatic, officials are concerned that people may carry the infection with them to holiday gatherings without even knowing it and could put others at risk. more vulnerable family members.
“I haven’t seen my parents since January,” Walk said. “I stay home and have older parents who would like to see me and who would like to see my children.”
Over the past week, similar messages have been echoed by both leading health experts and state leaders.
Louisiana Gov. John Bell Edwards warned that if residents planned Thanksgiving, which was similar to the previous ones, “you are making a mistake.” In Utah, where hospitals are overcrowded and about 45 beds in the intensive care unit remain vacant, the governor advises that only people from the same household gather for the holiday.
More curfew, measures to limit the spread
Insignificant work and gatherings should stop between 10pm and 5am, the governor said, adding that the order would remain in force for a month.
A curfew is also in effect in Ohio, where Gov. Mike DeWine said police would not go out to attract people if he saw them driving at night.
“We have to accept that they have a legitimate reason to be outside,” the governor said. “But on the other hand, if there’s people gathering somewhere and the police see that … they’re probably going to stop by and say, ‘hey, it’s after 10 o’clock, you guys have to go home . ”
In Arkansas, the governor announced a 23-hour closure for all businesses licensed to sell and permit indoor alcohol consumption.
CNG’s Maggie Fox, Jamiel Lynch and Rebecca Rees contributed to this report.