Saturday was the 19th day in a row that the United States reported over 100,000 new cases, according to Johns Hopkins. The spring and summer’s highest records of new cases did not exceed 60,000.
At least 24 hospital executives warned the American Hospital Association that they were experiencing staff shortages, said Nancy Foster, the association’s vice president of quality and patient safety policy. Increases in hospitalization rates are often followed by increasing death rates.
So far, 24,291
States report frightening milestones
The number of real cases is likely to be “crowds” higher than the 12 million reported because not enough people are being tested, said Dr. Esther Choo, Professor of Emergency Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University.
Choo said she is particularly concerned about how quickly new cases are accelerating.
“So many states have test-positive rates of over 20%, which means we are far behind in our confirmed cases,” she told CNN’s Erica Hill.
And test positivity is just one of the measurements reaching alarming heights across the United States.
Mississippi reported a single-day state record with 1,972 cases Saturday, according to the Mississippi State Department of Health.
Thanksgiving travels despite the CDC’s recommendation against it
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week called against Thanksgiving travel and against celebrating with someone outside your own household because cases are sky-high. But health officials suspect many will visit family and friends and spread the virus further – many times without knowing it.
However, health experts stress that a negative test result does not guarantee that a person will not carry the virus to a Thanksgiving gathering because a test does not necessarily detect new infections. An already infected person could test negative, travel for a dinner days later and then spread the disease.
To keep viruses down
Currently, experts urge the public to use measures including wearing masks, social distance, avoiding crowds and washing hands to slow the spread until promising vaccines and treatments are available.
A race to develop a vaccine that is effective against the virus has yielded some promising results, with Moderna announcing earlier this month that its vaccine candidate was 94.5% effective against coronavirus.
While the application for EUA is “encouraging”, the Infectious Diseases Society of America stressed on Friday that a transparent review of Pfizer’s data is still needed.
And if the vaccine gets the green light, “clinical trials and data collection should continue,” said Dr. Barbara Alexander, President of IDSA, in the statement.
“Measures that include the use of masks, frequent hand washing, maintaining physical distance and limiting the size of gatherings will remain crucial,” the statement said. “Finally, new federal funding must be provided for widespread, equitable and equitable vaccine distribution in addition to campaigns to build vaccine trust.”
CNN’s Christina Maxouris, Hollie Silverman, Holly Yan, Claudia Dominguez, Jamie Gumbrecht, Jacqueline Howard and Lauren Mascaren have contributed to this report.