CALIFORNIA has become the second state to pass one million Covid cases – as states throughout the US start up new restrictions to slow the surge.
California has reported more than one million Covid casesCredit: AFP or licensors
People wait for Covid tests via a drive-thru at Dodger Stadium in Los AngelesCredit: AP:Associated Press
The two states alone make up roughly 20 percent of the United States’ total number of cases – which is over 10.8million infections.
More than 248,000 people have died in the US from the virus.
A record-high of 152,391 new cases in just one day was reported on Wednesday.
California Governor Gavin Newsom said this week that, “Obviously it’s sobering, these numbers.”
“But again the total capacity that we built out, the ability to test being substantially greater than it was just even a few weeks ago, let alone a few months ago, and the ample inventory of over 500 million masks and other related PPE is significant.”
In March, when the virus found its way to the US, California was the first state to issue a statewide stay-at-home order on its nearly 40million residents.
After spiking in the summer, the rate of confirmed Covid cases in California declined into the fall but now is surging again – like much of the country.
This week, 11 counties had rates high enough that state restrictions were re-imposed on certain businesses and activities.
California Governor Gavin Newsom said the case numbers in his state are ‘sobering’Credit: AP:Associated Press
Newsom is seen here getting tested for Covid on October 30Credit: AP:Associated Press
California’s 14-day positivity rate was 3.9 percent – up from 2.5 percent on October 19.
Earlier this week, Dr Michael Osterholm, a coronavirus adviser to President-elect Joe Biden, suggested a four- to six-week-long lockdown to curb the surge in Covid cases.
“We could pay for a package right now to cover all of the wages, lost wages for individual workers for losses to small companies to medium-sized companies or city, state, county governments.
“We could do all of that,” he said. “If we did that, then we could lockdown for four to six weeks.”
More than 10.8million coronavirus infections have been reported in the USCredit: Reuters
“We could really watch ourselves cruising into the vaccine availability in the first and second quarter of next year while bringing back the economy long before that.”
He acknowledged that people are tired of wearing masks, socially distancing from one another, and from “pandemic fatigue.”
Speaking on Good Morning America on Thursday, Fauci pushed back on another lockdown, saying it will not be necessary if Americans continued to wear masks, wash their hands, and socially distance.
Dr Anthony Fauci said the US doesn’t need a total lockdown to less the number of virus casesCredit: AFP or licensors
He said: “We would like to stay away from that because there’s no appetite for locking down the American public.
“You don’t necessarily have to shut everything down. The best opposite strategy to locking down is to intensify the public health measures.
“If you can do that well, you don’t have to take that step [lockdown] … which has so many implications both psychologically and economically.”
The disease expert said “help is really on the way” after news of a vaccine emerged on Monday, saying “the cavalry is coming.”
Hundreds of thousands of people are dead in the country from CovidCredit: Getty Images – Getty
“Vaccines are going to have a major positive impact,” he concluded, saying everyone could access this cure by next April.
On Monday, Pfizer announced that their Covid vaccine was looking to be 90 percent effective based on early test results.
The company is on track to apply later this month for emergency-use approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
However, authorities have stressed that it’s unlikely a vaccine will be rolled out before the end of the year and the limited initial supplies will be rationed.
Fauci said that the results suggesting 90 percent effectiveness are “just extraordinary.”
“Not very many people expected it would be as high as that,” he said.
California has hit over one million Covid casesCredit: Getty Images – Getty
President Donald Trump has not publicly commented on the new Covid numbers and has claimed that news of the vaccine was held until after Election Day.
The company has denied allegations that political maneuverings determined the timing of their announcement.
President-elect Biden plans to bring in a new team of highly respected medical advisers to carry out a new detailed Covid control plan.
Experts have said the plan includes the kind of measures that will be necessary to bring the surge under control.
Texas has also seen more than one million infectionsCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Biden pledged during the campaign to be guided by science, make testing free and widely available, improve contact-tracing and instruct disease experts to provide clear advice.
On Monday, he said the Pfizer vaccine would be available for free to all Americans.
The latest surge in cases has been blamed largely on cold weather driving people inside and disdain for masks and social distancing.
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