The high number of travelers on holiday during the pandemic worries the country’s leading infectious disease expert.
“I know that everyone wants to go back to the time when Christmas was a situation where you could have many, many guests inside, gathering, having fun together,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, longtime director of the Institute. National Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Wolf Blitzer told CN on Tuesday.
But, “the situation is different now,” he said.
The Transportation Security Administration reports pandemic travel and said it examined more than 4 million air passengers between Friday and Monday.
If the Americans ignore the already serious situation and travel for the holidays anyway, Fauci warned that “it could be a very difficult January”.
“As you can imagine, it’s quite worrying for me,” he said. “This type of trip is risky, especially if people start to gather when they reach their destination in large crowds, indoors. the difficult situation we are already in. So it could be a very difficult January if these things happen. “
Fauci said that every time he talks about being careful, while the coronavirus pandemic breaks out all over the country, he is accused of wanting to “cancel Christmas”.
“I don’t want to do that,” he said. “I want people to be more careful. I want to limit the trip as much as possible.”
Fauci also urged Americans to receive the vaccine – he received his first dose of Coverna-19 vaccine from Moderna on Tuesday.
“I feel very confident in what we do and that is why I strongly recommend to everyone that when the vaccine becomes available to be vaccinated,” he said. “This is how we will put this pandemic behind us.”
Pfizer and Moderna are testing vaccines against the coronavirus variant
Pfizer and Moderna are testing their coronavirus vaccines to see if they work against the mutated version of the virus found in the United Kingdom and other countries, the companies said.
The variant was not identified in the United States, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a brief Tuesday, but “given the small number of U.S. infections that have been sequenced, the variant could already be in the United States without to have been detected. “
Travel between the United States and the United Kingdom, along with the high prevalence of the variant in infections in the United Kingdom, increase the “probability of importation,” the CDC said.
“We expect Moderna’s vaccine-induced immunity to be protective against the recently described variants in the UK; we will be conducting additional tests in the coming weeks,” Moderna said.
Pfizer “generates data,” he said, about how well blood samples from immunized people “could neutralize the new strain.”
Video: See what Dr. Fauci said just before he received the vaccine (CNN)
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Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, told CNN that the two licensed vaccines are expected to work against the new strain.
“We’re starting to see some data that some of the monoclonal antibodies we have continue to work against this new strain. So I expect the vaccines to continue to be effective,” he said. “And if there is an external chance that (they are not) … we can make changes to the vaccine.
“But I don’t think it will be necessary. Certainly not in the short or medium term.”
The US has not restricted travel from the UK
The new coronavirus has moved forward and vaccines from both companies have worked against variations in the virus.
The importance of this change is uncertain, experts say, but dozens of countries, including Canada, have imposed restrictions on travelers from the UK. The United States has not done so, but the White House plans to require travelers from the United Kingdom to take a negative coronavirus test before entering the United States, two administration officials told CNN.
The US has failed to limit the spread of Covid-19. On Tuesday, the country reported at least 181,000 new cases and 3,200 deaths, as more than 117,000 people were hospitalized – a record. The United States had more than 18.2 million cases and 322,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Outbreaks are not limited to a single region. On Monday night, the states with the most new cases in the last week, adjusted for population, are Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, California and Rhode Island, according to CDC data.
More than 614,000 doses of the vaccine have been given, says the CDC. Tens of millions more are expected in the coming months.
However, the distribution of the vaccine should not cause Americans to give up security. Everyone should take precautions to limit exposure, as research published Tuesday in the journal Physics of Fluid warns that wearing a mask without social distancing may not be enough.
The researchers performed tests on N95 masks, surgical masks, two-layer cloth masks, regular cloth masks and two-layer wet cloth masks, and only N95 stopped the drops from escaping when coughing or sneezing was simulated, the journal reported. .
States add health mandates
Across the country, some state leaders have to impose stricter health orders, while communities are dealing with the latest increase in coronavirus cases.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday announced statewide restrictions on business capacity and lowered limits for indoor and outdoor meetings.
Starting Saturday, companies in “most industries” will have to limit their capacity to 25 percent, Baker said, noting that the decision to impose measures is “extremely difficult.”
In addition, indoor gatherings are now limited to 10 people and outdoor gatherings to 25, Baker said.
Baker said the state has 3,760 new cases and 1,991 people have been hospitalized, putting the facilities “under significant pressure.”
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves has signed an executive order extending the rules on face covering. With the addition of 17 counties, all but four of the 82 counties are under the directive, which expires on January 15.
“We all need to be more aware,” Reeves said in a news release. “You know what to do! Protect yourself and your family.”
California, which divides the state into five regions, is likely to extend home residence orders that will expire in two regions next week, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday.
Officials said Tuesday that more than 32,000 Californians were recently diagnosed, bringing the state’s total to more than 1.9 million. Deaths continue to rise as the state added 247 deaths on Tuesday to a total of 22,923.
The lack of ICU beds in Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley continues to affect both regions, as capacity remains at 0%. Nearly 19,000 Covid-19 patients are hospitalized in California, with 3,861 in intensive care units.
“California is in a state of crisis in its health systems,” Thomas McGinn, executive vice president of Dignity Health, told a joint news conference. “We are trying records that we do not want to break. The number of hospitalizations for COVID, the number of patients with ventilators, the number of patients in our ICUs and, unfortunately, the number of mortality we are witnessing.”
But cases are falling in many states. On Monday, the governor of North Dakota announced the relaxation of orders for the opening hours of restaurants and bars. As of Tuesday, places that were closed to personal service between 10pm and 4am were allowed to return to normal hours, Gov. Doug Burgum said.
“These businesses are an important part of our economy and we are deeply grateful for their efforts and sacrifices to help slow the spread of Covid-19 and reduce active cases and hospitalizations,” he said.