CDC Issues Thanksgiving Guidelines as Virus Cases Spike and Some Hospitals Near Capacity
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The coronavirus pandemic appears to be spiraling out of control once again. All 50 states are seeing rising infection rates with more than one million new confirmed cases in the first 10 days of this month, including more than 150,000 in a 24-hour period.
Health experts say unless strict measures are taken to control the disease, the infections will keep rising.
Wisconsin is among several states setting records this week for new cases, deaths, and hospitalizations. The governor there is asking folks to stay home again.
"It took us seven and a half months to get to 100,000 cases, but it only took 36 days to add another 100,000," warned Tony Evers, Wisconsin's Democratic governor.
In Illinois, restrictions and curfews are now in place for four suburban Chicago counties, bringing more economic pain to local businesses already reeling from ten months of losses.
"I mean, it's going to be brutal, it's going to be crushing," said Sam Vlahos, owner of Pierce Tavern. "The holidays are the busiest time for everyone."
Texas has become the state with the most infections with a million-plus people testing positive for the virus.
"Texas, unfortunately, is leading the country now with patients in the hospitals as well as the number of cases," Dr. Craig DeLisi, a Christian physician who practices at Titus Regional Medical Center in Mount Pleasant, Texas, told CBN News.
The numbers are so bad in the Lone Star state that in El Paso, ground zero for the state's epidemic, patients are being treated in dozens of tents across the city. F.E.M.A is even deploying mobile morgues to hold bodies as the death rate soars in the city.
California is set to become the second state to pass one million infections. Last night at L.A.'s Dodger Stadium, hundreds waited in line to get tested.
More than 10 million Americans have caught the virus and data shows this new wave, hitting just as winter is setting in, could be more widespread and bigger than earlier this year.
Some states, like Oregon, have prepared this time around to handle the rising volume of cases.
"We're better prepared today than we were in February when we identified our first COVID-19 patient," said Dana Hargunani with Oregon Health Authority.
The new surge in infections is stretching other states and their hospitals to its limits.
"I tell you this in all sincerity, Oklahoma, we are in trouble," warned Dr. Julie Watson with Integris Health in Oklahoma. "Our local and state healthcare resources are approaching their limits and if nothing is done soon to slow the rise in cases, our hospitals will be more overwhelmed than they already are and we won't be able to be there for all of those who need it."
Meanwhile, in Nevada, officials say they have the next two weeks to get the virus under control or prepare for another lockdown. "If we don't come together at this moment, I will be forced to take stronger action in 14 days," warned Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D).
Ohio and other states now enforcing a mask mandate. "We know that masks work," said Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R). "They are the easiest, most cost-effective way to limit the spread of COVID-19."
With Thanksgiving two weeks away, the CDC is issuing new guidelines, urging Americans to stay home and not travel. And if you do gather, they want you to do it outdoors and keep the numbers small.
"So if you know you are going to go to family gatherings, where there's going to be especially older relatives that could be sick or more vulnerable, then maybe that means that for the week or two proceedings you should do less, especially unnecessary types of things," Dr. DeLisi told CBN News.
Meanwhile, Pfizer's news about its vaccine that it claims is 90 percent effective against the virus could be a game-changer. It's seeking FDA emergency authorization to get the drug to first responders and for at-risk groups like seniors.
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