A new internal federal government map shows that nearly the entire United States has become one giant coronavirus hotspot.
The map, produced by the Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Health and Human Services (DHHS) and exclusively obtained by Yahoo! News, has a key with five categories: ‘low burden,’ ‘moderate burden,’ ’emerging hotspot,’ ‘hot spot’ and ‘sustained hotspots.’
The brief, dated November 29 and labeled ‘not for distribution’, reveals 48 states, and the District of Columbia, have multiple counties marked in red as ‘sustained hotspots.’
Only two states did not fall in this category: Hawaii and Rhode Island.
It comes as the US broke yet another grim record on Monday as the number of Americans in the hospital with coronavirus rose to 96,039 people – an almost 12 percent increase from the week before.
And, on Tuesday, the US reported 157,901 new infections and 1,172 deaths.
A DailyMail.com analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University shows average cases have risen 95 percent to 160,428 and average daily deaths have increased by nearly 80 precent to 1,457 in the last month.
A new map from an internal federal government brief obtained by Yahoo! News shows that 48 US states and the District of Columbia are marked as ‘sustained hotspots’ of coronavirus
Another map from the brief also revealed the incidence rate of COVID-19 across the country is 336 cases per 100,000 people, up from 322 cases per 100,000 two weeks prior
Over the last month, the average number of daily cases in the US have risen 95% to 160,428
Average daily coronavirus deaths in the US have increased by 80% to 1,457 over the last month
On Monday, the US hit a new record of 96,039 coronavirus hospitalizations across the nation (above)
The DHS and DHHS brief from Yahoo! News also contained more maps that convey the severity of the pandemic as it sweeps across the nation in this third wave.
One map shows the incidence rate in each county over the last seven days per 100,000.
Most counties are either colored in red, indicating between 200 and 499 cases per 100,000 people, or in dark red, which designated more than 500 cases per 100,000 people.
For the entire US, the incidence rate is 336 cases per 100,000 people, a new record and up from the previous high of 322 cases per 100,000 two weeks ago, according to Yahoo! News.
However, there was some good news too with the percent change in cases per 100,000 from the previous seven days dropping by 5.7 percent.
These figures are expected to become worse over the next several weeks as Americans travel and held large gatherings for Thanksgiving.
And public health experts war that Americans who ignored advice not to do so will now make the situation worse with Dr Anthony Fauci, that nation’s top infectious disease expert, describing it as ‘a surge, superimposed on a surge’.
Unlike in the spring, when the epicenter was New York and the heartlands were relatively spared, now the pandemic is nationwide. Cases are rising in 41 states: North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Wyoming and Nebraska were among the hardest-hit.
On Monday, Dr Scott Atlas, President Donald Trump’s favorite member of the White House coronavirus task force – who angered many with his skepticism over lockdowns and face masks – resigned.
A source close to the task force told CNN on Monday that Atlas’ departure comes as welcome news, as his discredited theories will no longer have a seat at the table.
A number of states are being hit very hard in the recent wave, particularly the Midwest.
For example, Indiana is currently second in the nation for COVID-19 hospitalizations per capita, according an analysis from IndyStar.
Currently, 50 out of every 100,000 residents are hospitalized with the virus, which is an increase from the previous week and puts the state behind only South Dakota.
However, Indiana only has about 270 beds per 100,000 people compared to South Dakota’a 480 beds, which means resources are being stretched thin.
‘The current hospitalization trends are alarming and are straining Indiana’s hospitals’ ability to care for all patients, including those with COVID 19,’ Brian Tabor, president of the Indiana Hospital Association, wrote in an emailed statement to IndyStar.
‘Hospitals across the state are struggling with staffing issues as the number of cases has grown. Each one of us must commit to doing our part to reduce the spread of this terrible disease so that all Hoosiers can access the care that they need 24/7.’
Indiana is currently second in the nation for coronavirus hospitalization rates with 50 out of every 100,000 residents hospitalized with the virus
Ohio reported 357 hospitalizations on Monday for a total of more than 26,000. Data shows the number people admitted to the hospital for coronavirus has increased 200 percent since November 1
Michigan’s seven-day average of new infections has doubled in one month from 2,879 on October 31 to 6,605 currently
On Tuesday, 1,718 COVID-19 patients in Oklahoma were reported to be hospitals and 461 of those in ICUs. Both figures are the highest ever recorded
Ohio is also being hit hard as well, including a total 26,864 hospitalizations, including 357 reported on Monday.
According to Andy Thomas of Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center, the number of people admitted to the hospital for coronavirus has increased 200 percent since November 1.
During a press conference, Thomas stated that the number of hospitals concerned about growing rates of ICU patients, with concerns they could be filled to capacity by the end of the year.
In nearby Michigan, the state’s seven-day average of new infections has doubled in just one month.
New daily cases were reported to be 2,879 on October 31 and currently sit at 6,605, according to Michigan Live.
Test positivity rates have also doubled over the course of 30 days from 7.2 percent to about 14 percent.
Oklahoma is also reporting similar alarming increases.
On Tuesday, 1,718 COVID-19 patients were reported to be hospitals and 461 of those in ICUs. Both figures are the highest ever recorded.
In response, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt declared December 3 as a day of fasting and prayer for all residents of the state impacted by the coronavirus.
‘Oklahomans have always turned to prayer to guide us through trials and seasons of uncertainty, and I am asking Oklahomans of all faiths and religious backgrounds to join together with me on Thursday,’ he said in a news release.
‘I believe we must continue to ask God to heal those who are sick, comfort those who are hurting and provide renewed strength and wisdom to all who are managing the effects of COVID-19.’
Hospitals across the United States were at full capacity and sending patients to field clinics
Doctors in Houston, Texas, tend to a patient who has died from the virus
Medical staff members put tags on a deceased person in Houston, Texas
Hospitals across the country are at their breaking points.
In Rhode Island, residents have been informed that their hospitals are full, and COVID patients will be treated at an emergency field hospital.
On Monday morning, the Emergency Alert System was used and Rhode Islanders were sent a message reading: ‘RIGOV COVID ALERT: Hospitals at capacity due to COVID. Help the frontline by staying home as much as possible for the next two weeks. Work remotely if you can, avoid social gatherings, get tested. If we all decrease our mobility, we will save lives. Learn more about RI on Pause at reopeningRI.com/pause’.
The Providence Journal reported that two field hospitals began operating on Monday afternoon.
Care New England is in charge of the 353-bed field hospital on Sockanosset Cross Road in Cranston.
The site is for COVID patients who are not critically ill: those with more severe ailments will still be treated at existing hospitals.
A second field hospital, inside the Rhode Island Convention Center, has been set up in Providence, with 594 beds.
A field hospital has been set up inside the Rhode Island Convention Center
The Cranston facility (pictured) accepted its first COVID patients on Monday
In Alabama, hospitals are already seeing a spike in cases, post-Thanksgiving, and COVID wards are full in Decatur Morgan Hospital, meaning that patients are being cared for in ER – taking space from others in need.
Kelli Powers, president of the hospital, told WZDX that exhaustion among staff was setting in.
‘That’s the major thing,’ she said.
‘It is having enough staff to take care of these patients. I think I share with y’all every week how tired the doctors, the staff, everybody is – the nurses taking care of patients.’
Despite the new coronavirus unit at Decatur hospital’s Parkway Campus, they have had to resort to using the ER, causing longer wait times for the emergency room.
The COVID unit at the Parkway Campus was opened specifically to bring more beds to the area.
The hospital currently has 273 beds, and 69 patients admitted there have COVID-19.
Cars line up in Los Angeles on Monday for drive-in COVID testing at the Dodger Stadium
A healthcare worker wears protective gear at a coronavirus testing site in Los Angeles
In Montana, plans are being made to put COVID patients in assisted-living facilities, because the hospitals cannot cope.
Dr Scott Ellner, the chief executive of a Montana health system, Billings Clinics, said his network was ‘at or beyond capacity’.
On Monday he told CNBC that the situation in the state was critical.
‘We’re making every possible infrastructure change, including more airflow rooms,’ he said.
‘We’ve added over 90 rooms that have negative airflow.
‘We’ve expanded offices to create ICU capacity, and we’ve created double occupancy so that we can allow patients to be together in one room to meet the needs.’
The intensifying outbreak of COVID-19 also has taken a personal toll on the staff of the health system, Ellner said.
‘The most sobering thing that we saw, actually this past weekend, was unfortunately that we lost one of our physicians to COVID, so this is really hitting our workforce, our Billings Clinic family pretty hard.’
In West Nyack, New York, nurses on Monday check the results of a rapid test at a drive-through
Brendan Hurley, a junior in high school, is tested at a drive-through site in West Nyack Monday
Nurse Carolina Garcia, 36, takes care of her father, Jose Garcia, 67, in New Mexico on Sunday
New Mexico, which two weeks ago imposed a lockdown, said that its hospitals are operating in the ‘contingency’ level of care, but are getting closer to reaching the ‘crisis’ level, which would impact the level of care people would receive.
And Jim Justice, the governor of West Virginia, said hospitals across the state will reduce elective surgeries to ensure there is room for coronavirus patients.
The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 jumped 29 percent in the past week, he said.
In Kansas City, Kansas, hospital and nursing officials said they fear there will not be enough nurses to staff new hospital beds in the metro area if COVID-19 cases continue unchecked.
Health officials on Monday added 4,425 confirmed infections and 87 hospitalizations to the state’s pandemic tally since Friday.
Scott Atlas, Trump’s favorite health official, resigned from the COVID task force on Monday
Experts say that Thanksgiving travel and shopping will make matters worse.
In suburban St Louis, a hospital official warned that hospitalizations could double in two to three weeks if people don’t quarantine after Thanksgiving gatherings.
SSM Health DePaul Hospital in Bridgeton, Missouri, last week brought in a morgue trailer to store the dead, canceled elective surgeries and doubled up patients in rooms.
‘We will be absolutely overwhelmed,’ said Shelly Cordum, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer.
‘I can’t even imagine what we are going to be facing in three weeks if we stay on this path.’
And White House corononavirus task force coordinator Dr Deborah Birx told CBS’ Face the Nation that people who traveled should ‘assume that you were exposed and you became infected,’ and get tested if they experience symptoms.
El Paso’s hospitals have become overwhelmed with a troubling increase in coronavirus patients and deaths, prompting the city to bring in at least 10 mobile morgues earlier this month, pay inmates $2 an hour to carry dead bodies away, and deploy the Texas National Guard to help.
‘About almost six weeks ago, we started spiking significantly. I think people just… the consensus is people just had COVID fatigue and they let down,’ Mayor Dee Margo said on Face the Nation on Sunday.
‘As Dr [Deborah] Birx said, you got to wear the mask and you’ve got to maintain the distancing and you’ve got to avoid crowds,’ he added.
El Paso has recorded more than 86,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 920 deaths with a seven day rolling average positivity rate of 13.59 percent.
Mayor Dee Margo of El Paso, Texas says his city’s surge in coronavirus cases is due to ‘COVID fatigue’. ’About almost six weeks ago, we started spiking significantly. I think people just… the consensus is people just had COVID fatigue and they let down,’ Margo said on CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday
He said contact tracers have found that 55 percent of positive cases came from shopping at big box stores for the week of November 10 to 16. A view of a shopper at Academy Sports and Outdoors in El Paso on Black Friday above
Jacqueline Fuentes and her brother Michael Fuentes pictured purchasing a sound bar from Best Buy on Black Friday in El Paso, Texas. As a result Margo said he asked big stores like Walmart to enact ‘voluntary limitations’ to lower occupancy in the stores to prevent further spread of COVID-19
A view of a Costco store in El Paso, Texas on November 18 above. Residents have been urged to stay home except for essential trips due to the staggering surge of cases and deaths in the state that prompted the border town to bring in 10 mobile morgues to handle the pile-up of bodies
On Monday, 461 new COVID-19 cases were reported and one new death. There are 905 people currently hospitalized with 317 patients in the ICU and 214 patients on ventilators.
In Texas, more than one million people have tested positive for the virus and more than 21,000 have died.
Margo revealed that contact tracers have connected a wave of positive infections from big box stores.
‘We did a deep dive in our contact tracing for the week of November the 10th through the 16th and found that 55 per cent of the positives were coming from shopping at large retailers, what we’d term as the big box stores,’ Margo said.
‘And those are considered essential under CISA guidelines under Homeland Security. And we don’t really have – I don’t have any control over any limitations there,’ he said.
El Paso County detention inmates pictured helping moving bodies to refrigerated trailers outside the Medical Examiner’s Office on November 14. The mobile morgues were brought in to help with the surge of coronavirus deaths in the state
The El Paso Sheriff’s Office said that the city began to use inmates on November 9 on a volunteer basis to help move the dead into morgues. By November 16 there were at least 10 mobile morgues in the city
County officials said the inmates were paid $2 an hour and were tested and provided with PPE by the Medical Examiner’s office and would face a two-week quarantine once the program was over
El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego said the inmates were only used temporarily until the Texas National Guard came in as a last resort. A view of a low-level inmate helping load bodies wrapped in plastic into a refrigerated temporary morgue trailer in a parking lot at the El Paso County Medical Examiner’s office on November 17
A view of El Paso County detention inmates helping move bodies to the mobile morgues outside the Medical Examiner’s Office on November 14 above
As a result Margo said he asked big stores like Walmart to enact ‘voluntary limitations’ to lower occupancy in the stores.
Nearly one month ago the El Paso area reached capacity at hospitals and additional medics and the National Guard was deployed to aid in the situation.
‘On Thanksgiving Day, we had 406 positives. The next day was 678,’ Margo said.
Earlier this month hospitals in the El Paso area were looking dire.
The El Paso Sheriff’s Office said that the city began to use inmates on November 9 on a volunteer basis to help move the dead into morgues.
County officials said the inmates were paid $2 an hour and were tested and provided with PPE by the medical examiner’s office and would face a two-week quarantine once the program was over.
El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego said the inmates were only used temporarily until the Texas National Guard came in as a last resort.
‘If there’s no personnel, no one to help out, and there’s volunteers, even if they are inmates, then that’s what we’re left with,’ he told KFOX14. ’It was just a temporary focus, and we’re waiting for the Texas National Guard to help us out with that.’
On Thanksgiving eve El Paso initiated a new curfew running from 10pm to 5am through Monday November 30.
‘We need to do everything possible to avoid the perfect storm. I will use every tool that I have such as issuing a curfew to slow the spread of this virus,’ said Judge Ricardo Samaniego.
‘We’re now cautiously anticipating the outcome of Thanksgiving. Black Friday, Christmas, New Year’s, and the terrifying effects of the flu season.’
Last week Samaniego encouraged big box stores to distribute their Black Friday sales throughout the day to avoid amassing large crowds that can’t social distance.
He also urged locals against gathering for the shopping event and urged them to stay home except for essential needs.
Officials in Los Angeles went further.
Protesters against a vaccine and against lockdown in New York City on Sunday
In West Virginia, protesters against the lockdown took to the streets of Charleston Monday
Frontline healthcare workers demand more PPE in Los Angeles on Monday
The Plaza Mexico shopping center in Los Angeles’ Lynwood district was almost deserted
Los Angeles County imposed a stay-at-home order for its 10 million residents, and Santa Clara County, in the heart of Silicon Valley, banned high school, college and professional sports and decreed a quarantine for those who have traveled more than 150 miles outside the county.
The directive allows for church services and protests, noting that both are constitutionally-protected rights.
It sets maximum occupancy rates for various businesses, including nonessential retail, libraries, and recreational activities, and leaves in place a countywide prohibition on in-person dining at restaurants and bars because patrons cannot wear face masks while eating or drinking.
In Hawaii, the mayor of Hawaii County said trans-Pacific travelers arriving without a negative COVID-19 test must quarantine for 14 days, and even those who have tested virus-free may be randomly selected for another test upon arrival.
New Jersey is suspending all youth sports.
‘The red flags are flying in terms of the trajectory in our projections of growth,’ said Gavin Newsom, governor of California.
‘If these trends continue, we’re going to have to take much more dramatic, arguably drastic, action.’
Former CDC director says COVID vaccine roll-out will be the ‘single most complicated in American history’
By Jennifer Smith for DailyMail.com
A former CDC director said on Tuesday that getting the COVID-19 vaccine out to the public will be ‘the single most complicated vaccination program in American history’ as the committee that decides who gets it first prepared to have their first talks.
Dr. Tom Frieden served as the CDC Director between 2009 and 2017 after being appointed by Obama. In 2019, he was accused of sexual harassment and forcible touching by a woman who said he preyed on her in his home.
Now, he works for a nongovernmental organization called Resolve To Save Lives.
On Tuesday morning, he was interviewed on Good Morning America about the COVID-19 vaccines that are now being reviewed by the FDA for emergency authorization and which could become available to Americans later this month.
He said that immunizing the country will be the ‘single most complicated’ vaccination mission the US has ever had to undertake, and that there will be several challenges in deciding who gets it first but that ultimately it comes down to two things; where can the most lives be saved and what is fairest.
Dr. Tom Frieden served as the CDC Director between 2009 and 2017 after being appointed by Obama. He appeared on Good Morning America on Tuesday
The committee that decides those things is theC DC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). They will start discussing today about how to give the vaccine out.
Frieden said that nursing homes will be a priority because that is where ’40 percent of all COVID-19 deaths have been’, and that doctors and nurses will also be high on the list.
‘You want to really focus on nursing homes. That’s where 40% of the deaths have been.
‘In terms of fairness – doctors, nurses and all healthcare workers, not just the people you see stories about, the people cleaning floors, checking people in, who are exposed but of getting it and spreading it.
‘This kind of public discussion and decision is a healthy way to have this prioritization done,’ he said.
‘We expect approval to come pretty soon but we do expect there to be bumps in the road.
‘When you vaccinate millions of people, some people get really sick after the vaccination and you don’t know whether that was the vaccine or just coincidence
Dr. Fauci warns it will be late summer 2021 before big crowds can return to sporting events – even if vaccinations for the general public start in April
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says sports fans should not expect to return to games en masse until the final months of 2021 due to the challenges of rolling out COVID-19 vaccines.
Fauci, who has consistently cautioned against spectators attending games, told Yahoo! Sports on Monday that unrestricted crowds at sporting events will be among ‘the last things’ Americans will see as the country recovers from the pandemic.
‘We’re gonna be vaccinating the highest-priority people [from] the end of December through January, February, March,’ Fauci said.
‘By the time you get to the general public, the people who’ll be going to the basketball games, who don’t have any underlying conditions, that’s gonna be starting the end of April, May, June.
‘So it probably will be well into the end of the summer before you can really feel comfortable [with full sports stadiums] – if a lot of people get vaccinated. I don’t think we’re going to be that normal in July. I think it probably would be by the end of the summer.’
Dr. Anthony Fauci , the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says sports fans should not expect to return to games en masse until the final months of 2021 due to the challenges of rolling out COVID-19 vaccines
The NBA and NHL both completed their 2019-20 campaigns inside league-operated bubbles, which were largely successful in protecting players and staff from coronavirus. The NBA, which is preparing to start its 2020-21 season on December 22, still plans on allowing small, socially distanced crowds, depending on the guidelines from local health officials in each respective market
Pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer, BioNTech, and Moderna Inc. have COVID-19 vaccines in various stages of development. In fact, Pfizer and BioNTech have requested permission from the US to begin vaccinations in the US this month.
But according to Fauci, that does not necessarily signal a return to normal life.
‘Having an efficacious vaccine in and of itself doesn’t get us out of this difficult situation we’re in,’ Fauci said. ‘But an efficacious vaccine that’s widely utilized could get us to a point where we’re really approaching normality.’
Another problem could be the public’s willingness to be vaccinated.
‘We could get there by the end of the summer, and as we get into the fall of next year,’ Fauci continued.
‘[But] if 50 percent of the people say, “You know, I don’t want to get vaccinated,” then it’s gonna take considerably longer than that.’
Fauci said he believes ‘between 75 and 85 percent’ of the US population would need to be vaccinated before large crowds could return to sporting events without restriction.
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