Tag: Thanksgiving

 

US death toll could rise to 256,000 by Thanksgiving season, CDC says

As the number of coronavirus cases in the United States nears 9 million, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention forecast the death toll from Covid-19 could rise to as high as 256,000 just before Thanksgiving.



a group of people sitting in a chair: AUSTIN, TEXAS - AUGUST 04: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Medics with Austin-Travis County EMS transport a man with potential COVID-19 symptoms to a hospital on August 04, 2020 in Austin, Texas. Texas has had the third-highest number of coronavirus cases in the United States, following Florida and California. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)


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AUSTIN, TEXAS – AUGUST 04: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Medics with Austin-Travis County EMS transport a man with potential COVID-19 symptoms to a hospital on August 04, 2020 in Austin, Texas. Texas has had the third-highest number of coronavirus cases in the United States, following Florida and California. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

The ensemble forecast, published by the CDC Thursday, projects the best-case scenario is 243,000 deaths — and the worst-case is 256,000 deaths — by November 21.

At least 228,143 people have already died from Covid-19 in the United States, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, and about 8.92 million cases have been reported as of Thursday afternoon.

Across the country, 41 states had at least 10% more new Covid-19 cases this past week compared to the previous week, according to data from the university.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, said he believes 100,000 new cases per day in the US is imminent.

“We’ll cross 100,000 infections at some point in the next couple of weeks, probably. We might do it this week, if all the states report on time,” Gottlieb said.

Gottlieb, who was appointed by President Donald Trump to lead the FDA in 2017, said this surge is due to the public’s behavior and lack of caution.

“The reality is that I think we’re not going to start to see a slowdown in the pandemic until you see consumer behavior change, and until you see mobility data start to decline,” he said.

“That’s been the lesson of the past surges in the virus.”

States continue to see Covid-19 cases at all-time highs

These days, many Covid-19 high marks are short-lived as states grapple with skyrocketing infections and hospitalizations.

For the second time in five days, Ohio set a new high for most new Covid-19 cases in one day — 3,590, Gov. Mike DeWine said Thursday.

Ohio also saw its third-highest day of Covid-19 hospitalizations in the past 24 hours.

“The virus is raging throughout the state, and there is no place to hide,” DeWine said.

“We must face this virus head-on with the tools that we know can beat this virus back: masks, social distancing, washing hands frequently, and good ventilation when inside.”

North Dakota broke its record for daily new cases Thursday — the second time in a week — with 1,222 new infections reported. About 13% of staffed hospital beds remain available in the state.

The number of new cases keeps outpacing the number of new tests.

The average number of daily new cases this past week is up 24% compared to the previous week, according to Johns Hopkins.

But testing has increased only 8.52% over the same time frame, according to

COVID cases may surge after Thanksgiving, Christmas gatherings

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R-0 may be the most important scientific term you’ve never heard of when it comes to stopping the coronavirus pandemic.

USA TODAY

Dr. Eric Cioe-Peña and his wife come from large families and typically split the holiday festivities, getting together with one group of relatives for Thanksgiving and another one at Christmas.

This year, they’ll reluctantly keep their distance from both.

“We’re going to have to make sacrifices,” said Cioe-Peña, an emergency room physician and director of Global Health at Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, New York. “My wife and I decided this year’s going to be nuclear family, and we’re not inviting anybody over.”

As the holidays approach and the number of coronavirus cases surge, millions of Americans face the decision whether to eschew traditional gatherings with family and friends or risk spreading the virus among loved ones.

Anthony Fauci, the nation’s foremost authority on infectious diseases, and Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warned about the potential for a spike in infections stemming from holiday parties, even if they’re small and only among relatives.

Memorial Day get-togethers were partly blamed for an increase in COVID-19 cases the USA experienced early in the summer. Events such as a Sweet 16 party late last month in Long Island, New York – linked to 37 positive tests – and a wedding in August in Maine – which led to more than 175 infections – underscore the danger of relatively small social functions turning into superspreaders.

Last week, health officials in the Washington area said small gatherings have been a factor in the region hitting a two-month high in coronavirus cases.

“All along, there have been issues about attending weddings, funerals, religious gatherings and other events that are part of our normal life,” said Dr. Steven Woolf, director emeritus of the Center on Society and Health at Virginia Commonwealth University. “They bring people together and potentially become vectors for the virus. As many public health experts mention, the virus is attending these events and can be transmitted from person to person.”

The traditional gatherings of relatives and friends during Thanksgiving and other holidays are a source of concern for public health experts, who fear they may lead to a spike in coronavirus cases. (Photo: Getty Images / skynesher)

Don’t let the virus get to Grandma

The CDC, which discourages traditional trick-or-treating this Halloween, updated its guidance Monday about holiday celebrations with advice on how to reduce risk of infection.

The tips for in-person gatherings include commonly known mitigation measures such as holding events outdoors, limiting their size, having participants wear masks and maintaining social distance. The CDC encourages hosts to request that guests avoid contact with people from outside their household for two weeks before the activity.

Safe inside: Fauci warns against Thanksgiving celebrations: How to stay safe indoors from the coronavirus during cold seasons?

The impracticality of some of the safety measures – it’s hard to fit everybody at a table 6 feet apart 

As COVID-19 cases soar, many Americans plan indoor Thanksgiving with friends or extended family




a close up of a sign


© Yahoo News



As United States COVID-19 cases climb toward a new peak and hospitalizations increase across most of the country, more than a third of registered voters (34 percent) plan to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends or family from outside their households, according to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll — and nearly all of them plan to gather indoors.

Another quarter (25 percent) say they’re still not sure how they will spend the Thanksgiving holiday, meaning that right now, amid a worsening pandemic, a majority of American voters are at least considering joining friends or family indoors on Nov. 26.

The survey, which was conducted from Oct. 16 to 18, reveals just how challenging it may be to contain America’s latest COVID-19 surge. New daily cases recently topped 70,000 nationwide for the first time since July; hospitalizations are on the rise in 39 states, with 16 approaching or exceeding all-time highs. Colder weather is making outdoor gatherings impractical in many places. And the big, garrulous, close-knit indoor meals with friends and family that define the holiday season are precisely the stuff that superspreader events are made of. 



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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert, told Yahoo News last week that he would not celebrate Thanksgiving with his children because they are concerned about spreading the deadly virus. “I have three children that I would love to see over Thanksgiving,” Fauci said. The 79-year-old doctor noted that he falls in a vulnerable age group.

Yet many Americans won’t be following Fauci’s lead. Beyond the 30 percent of respondents who plan to gather indoors with friends or extended family and the 25 percent who haven’t ruled it out — percentages that could represent tens of millions of people, or more — 9 percent of respondents say they plan to travel for Thanksgiving. Another 9 percent are considering it. And just 21 percent of those who plan to gather with friends or extended family members say they would be willing to cancel their Thanksgiving plans if COVID-19 cases surged in their area. 

One month later, it’s Christmas. 

The point isn’t to shame Americans into skipping the holidays. We’re all weary of the virus. We all want to hit pause for a special day. We’re all desperate to eat, drink, relax and watch football with loved ones. And we all care about keeping our friends and family safe. There are no satisfying choices here. 

But America will face a test on Thanksgiving, and it’s basically just a supercharged version of the test we have faced throughout the pandemic: How much normal is OK right now? 

The problem is that it’s a test we have failed time and again in circumstances far less tempting than Thanksgiving — which in turn is why Thanksgiving itself has suddenly become a far more dangerous temptation than it had to be. 



According to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll, a majority of American voters are at least considering joining friends or family indoors on Thanksgiving. (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photo: EyeEm/Getty Images)


© Provided by Yahoo! News
According to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll, a majority of American voters are at

As COVID-19 cases soar, many Americans plan indoor Thanksgiving

As United States COVID-19 cases climb toward a new peak and hospitalizations increase across most of the country, more than a third of registered voters (34 percent) plan to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends or family from outside their households, according to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll — and nearly all of them plan to gather indoors.

Another quarter (25 percent) say they’re still not sure how they will spend the Thanksgiving holiday, meaning that right now, amid a worsening pandemic, a majority of American voters are at least considering joining friends or family indoors on Nov. 26.

The survey, which was conducted from Oct. 16 to 18, reveals just how challenging it may be to contain America’s latest COVID-19 surge. New daily cases recently topped 70,000 nationwide for the first time since July; hospitalizations are on the rise in 39 states, with 16 approaching or exceeding all-time highs. Colder weather is making outdoor gatherings impractical in many places. And the big, garrulous, close-knit indoor meals with friends and family that define the holiday season are precisely the stuff that superspreader events are made of. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert, told Yahoo News last week that he would not celebrate Thanksgiving with his children because they are concerned about spreading the deadly virus. “I have three children that I would love to see over Thanksgiving,” Fauci said. The 79-year-old doctor noted that he falls in a vulnerable age group.

Yet many Americans won’t be following Fauci’s lead. Beyond the 30 percent of respondents who plan to gather indoors with friends or extended family and the 25 percent who haven’t ruled it out — percentages that could represent tens of millions of people, or more — 9 percent of respondents say they plan to travel for Thanksgiving. Another 9 percent are considering it. And just 21 percent of those who plan to gather with friends or extended family members say they would be willing to cancel their Thanksgiving plans if COVID-19 cases surged in their area. 

One month later, it’s Christmas. 

The point isn’t to shame Americans into skipping the holidays. We’re all weary of the virus. We all want to hit pause for a special day. We’re all desperate to eat, drink, relax and watch football with loved ones. And we all care about keeping our friends and family safe. There are no satisfying choices here. 

But America will face a test on Thanksgiving, and it’s basically just a supercharged version of the test we have faced throughout the pandemic: How much normal is OK right now? 

The problem is that it’s a test we have failed time and again in circumstances far less tempting than Thanksgiving — which in turn is why Thanksgiving itself has suddenly become a far more dangerous temptation than it had to be. 

According to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll, a majority of American voters are at least considering joining friends or family indoors on Thanksgiving. (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photo: EyeEm/Getty Images)
According to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll, a majority of American voters are at least considering joining friends or family indoors on Thanksgiving. (Photo illustration: Yahoo

Pfizer CEO letter makes Thanksgiving earliest date for COVID vaccine

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Pressure to create a coronavirus vaccine is increasing by the day, but for a safe vaccine to enter the market, it takes time.

USA TODAY

An open letter from the frontrunner COVID-19 vaccine producer published Friday ends any expectations a vaccine might be available before Election Day.

Pfizer Inc. CEO Albert Bourla’s letter says the earliest the company could apply for authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine is the third week of November.

The CEO of the other frontrunner, Moderna’s Stéphane Bancel , said at a biotechnology conference on Sept. 30 that it would not have enough safety data to apply for Food and Drug Administration authorization of its vaccine until Nov. 25.

The other two COVID-19 vaccine candidates in final stage clinical trials in the United States, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, are both on hold as possible adverse events are investigated.

That means there is now no chance any COVID-19 vaccine could be approved before the Presidential election on Nov. 3.

The news lays to rest a concern brewing in the public health community for months that a vaccine might be rushed through to provide a political win for President Donald Trump. He has said multiple times over the past six months he anticipated a COVID-19 vaccine would be available prior to the election.

That stance shifted on Oct. 6 when the White House embraced guidelines published by the Food and Drug Administration that likely would slow approval of a coronavirus vaccine by requiring drug makers to conduct trials for two months before requesting approval.

After that shift, the only way a vaccine could have come about prior to Nov. 3 would have been if absolutely everything went right in the Pfizer vaccine trials, which are the furthest along.

The timing would have been tight. The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses given 28 days apart and it launched its U.S. Phase 3 trials on July 27. The second shots would have begun on Aug. 24. Two months of follow-up after that second shot would be Oct. 23.

Bourla’s letter makes clear it will take longer than that. Based on the company’s current trial enrollment and dosing pace, “we estimate we will reach this milestone in the third week of November,” he wrote.

The company is “operating at the speed of science,” with safety as its No. 1 priority, he said.

Even then, there will be several important safety and oversight steps after the company applies for an Emergency Use Authorization for its vaccine.

“All the data contained in our U.S. application would be reviewed not only by the FDA’s own scientists but also by an external panel of independent experts at a publicly held meeting convened by the agency,” he said.

The news is an important step in earning back the public’s trust and confidence in the vaccine evaluation and approval process, said Dr. Kelly Moore, associate director of Immunization Education, Immunization Action Coalition.

According to a poll from Informa Pharma Intelligence, a business intelligence provider, and research

Infectious Disease Expert Contradicts Anthony Fauci, Reveals How Thanksgiving Travel Could Be Safe

While Dr. Anthony Fauci is warning against large family gatherings and travel for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S., another health expert is saying that those who utilize proper precautions should be okay to do some traveling over the holidays.

Speaking to WPTV, an NBC affiliate station, Dr. Kleper De Almeida, an infectious disease specialist with JFK Medical Center in Atlantis, Florida, said that he felt travel could take place over the holiday season, including Thanksgiving, so long as those choosing to travel did so in a smart and safe way.

“As long as people take the measures that we should be applying every day, it would be safe to travel,” he said. “We need to be very mindful of that while we travel to protect ourselves from exposure, and in doing so, minimizing the risk of bringing it back to our communities.”

De Almeida’s comments directly contradict ones made by Fauci, who is the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and has been seen as the face of COVID-19, as he repeatedly warns Americans of rising infection rates and encourages mask use and social distancing. However, while those measures can help slow the spread, he has warned against letting them be the sole means of protection when it comes to considering a larger gathering for Thanksgiving and even admitted that he was taking precautions by not spending the holiday with his own daughters.

“That is unfortunately a risk, when you have people coming from out of town, gathering together in an indoor setting,” Fauci said. It is unfortunate, because that’s such a sacred part of American tradition—the family gathering around Thanksgiving. But that is a risk.”

The CDC echoed Fauci’s concerns with their guidelines for the holiday season, and traditional events that draw large crowds, like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, are going virtual to try and prevent the spread.

The United States currently stands at more than 8 million total COVID-19 infections reported and 218,000 deaths, with more than 70,000 new cases reported Friday, the largest increase since July. According to statistics from the New York Times, a total of 29 states continue to report high numbers of cases, while 16 other states are starting to report upticks.

In the past seven days, states that have seen high surges in percentages of cases have been North and South Dakota, which have seen more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents, with Montana, Wisconsin and Nebraska also reporting high numbers, with more than 300 cases per 100,000 residents. Currently, the only states that have seen less than 100 infections per 100,000 people (less than 0.001 percent), have been Vermont, Maine, Hawaii, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, California, Washington, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Virginia, Florida, Delaware, Georgia and Louisiana.

Fauci said the government would not make any future COVID-19 vaccine obligatory for the general public Fauci said the government would not make any future COVID-19 vaccine obligatory for the general public Photo: POOL / Al Drago

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Will Canceling Thanksgiving Cause A Mental Health Crisis? People May Feel Isolated, Lonely, Defeated

KEY POINTS

  • U.S. coronavirus infections are increasing by tens of thousands a day and the death toll is nearing 220,000
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci says Americans should “bite the bullet” and cancel this year’s gatherings
  • Mental health experts warn being deprived of Thanksgiving gatherings could increase feelings of loneliness and isolation

Last Thanksgiving people worried about how to prevent political blow-ups around the dinner table and whether the surly uncle would behave. In 2020, they’re worrying about whether to put on a Thanksgiving dinner at all with coronavirus cases increasing across the country.

Thanksgiving is Americans’ second favorite holiday behind Christmas. Unlike Christmas and Easter, there are no religious overtones. Unlike Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day, it’s not associated with politics.

But this year, fears of infecting loved ones has would-be hosts worrying about what to do.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns the more people who are invited, the greater the risk of spreading the disease that has killed about 220,000 Americans since March – especially if those gatherings are held indoors. Infections have been rising by the tens of thousands a day.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, says people should just cancel the annual celebration.

“You may have to bite the bullet and sacrifice that social gathering, unless you’re pretty certain that the people that you’re dealing with are not infected,” he said in a CBS interview.

Taking that step, however, likely will be hard on a lot of people, psychologist Souzan Swift of Heal telemedicine practice told International Business Times.

“Family and friends look forward to coming together to celebrate so now that we are unable to do so, it’s going to leave a lot of people feeling more isolated and lonely,” Swift said. “It’s not just about the holiday but about coming together, socializing, connecting with our loved ones, and overall self-care. Having to cancel our plans and/or traditions takes a lot of that away and we are left feeling lonely and disconnected from the world we knew.”

Addiction Treatment Services at Phoenix Behavioral Health recommends hosting virtual events if in-person gatherings are off the table.

“Those who may have a mental health disorder will be able to maintain the connections they crave while also lowering their risk of contracting COVID-19,” said Olivia Feldman, project manager at Addiction Treatment Services, citing the increased danger of turning to drugs or alcohol to assuage the isolation and loneliness.

Swift said canceling Thanksgiving, and potentially other winter holidays, may leave people feeling discouraged and defeated. Adjusting to a “new normal” is tough, she said.

“Unfortunately, the merriment we crave — eating, drinking and singing together in a cozy room — are among the highest-risk scenarios for transmitting COVID-19,” M. Kit Delgado, an assistant professor of emergency medicine and epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania, told MarketWatch.

In his CBS interview, Fauci noted his children had canceled his family gathering “because of their concern for me and my age … even

Cases reach 8M in US; Fauci says Thanksgiving bad idea

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Holidays are usually for gatherings but many get-togethers are complicated or canceled because of COVID-19.

USA TODAY

The U.S. is now the only country to reach 8 million cases of the coronavirus — less than a month after reaching 7 million — amid a surge that has resulted in higher case counts in 41 states over the last week, according to a USA TODAY analysis.

Due to COVID-19 cases surging nationwide, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, cautioned against throwing large celebrations for Thanksgiving, calling it “a risk” to gather in indoor settings with people from out-of-town. His own family, he shared, is canceling plans.

And on Thursday, President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden talked coronavirus during dueling town halls.

On ABC, Biden said he would support making a COVID-19 vaccine mandatory. But, he acknowledged, that he can’t force people to get the vaccine when it’s available. Meanwhile, on NBC, Trump said he didn’t remember whether he tested negative the day of his debate against Biden on Sept. 29. 

Some significant developments:

  • A CDC report finds that indoor sports may be “super-spreader” events after one player infected 14 others at a Florida recreational indoor hockey game.
  • The effectiveness of remdesivir has been put into question after a massive World Health Organization study of more than 10,000 patients in 30 countries found ”little or no effect.”
  • Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told the public to remain vigilant in an appearance Friday on ABC, his first since being released from the hospital for COVID-19.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the Canada-US border will stay closed until America gets control of the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris canceled campaign trips through Sunday after two people associated with the campaign tested positive for COVID-19.

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has reported more than 8 million cases and 217,700 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins data. There have been more than 38.9 million confirmed cases around the world and nearly 1.1 million deaths. A USA TODAY analysis found 14 states set records for new cases in a week while two states had a record number of deaths in a week. 

📰 What we’re reading:  The pandemic and the ensuing recession have taken a toll for students, but they hit particularly hard for community college students who already face many obstacles on their path to getting a degree. 

🗺️ Mapping coronavirus: Track the U.S. outbreak in your state

This file will be updated throughout the day. For updates in your inbox, subscribe to The Daily Briefing newsletter.

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Report: New England Patriots cancel practice after positive test

Only a day after Cam Newton and Stephon Gilmore returned from the COVID-19 list to practice, the New England Patriots had to pause activities due to coronavirus concerns once again.

The team canceled its Friday practice and media session after a positive test, ESPN reported, as the team awaits a positive test