(CNN) — The fall spike has left nearly 50,000 people hospitalized in the US due to COVID-19, and experts say the strain on healthcare systems could soon worsen.
Hospitalizations increased in 47 states last month, according to the Covid Tracking Project, and a total of 47,502 people had been hospitalized as of Sunday. The rates are accompanied by a surge in cases that made October a record month for coronavirus infections in the US.
The U.S. recorded its highest number of new cases on Friday with 99,321, the record for any nation in the world. And experts have said the impact will likely continue to worsen as colder months increase infections.
“We are just at the beginning of what seems like exponential growth in many states,” Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former Commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said on Sunday’s “Face the Nation” program. CBS. “This is very worrying as we approach winter.”
Gottlieb expects Thanksgiving to be a tipping point, and from there, he said the hospital system will face pressure similar to the initial peaks, when hospitals across the country were reaching capacity and workers in health were exhausted.
Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, said hospitalizations are the best measure of how the nation is coping with the pandemic and are often an indicator of the trend. of the number of deaths.
The seven-day average for new cases is currently more than 81,300, higher than at any other time during the pandemic. The increase has brought cases to more than 9.2 million in the US since the pandemic began. And 230,996 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The coronavirus accelerates in the states
The spread of covid-19 and hospitalizations have reached staggering levels in every state.
This week, there were more new coronavirus cases in Kentucky than in any other week since the pandemic began, Gov. Andy Beshear said in a statement Sunday.
“I know we are tired, but if we cannot control the spread of this disease, we risk a darker and more deadly period this winter than we have experienced in the spring,” said Beshear.
Illinois is working to control the virus by putting the entire state under resurgent mitigation measures, Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health said Sunday. The state reported nearly 7,000 new cases on Sunday.
“As cases, hospitalizations and deaths increase in our state, in the Midwest and across the country, we must act responsibly and collectively to protect the people we love,” Pritzker said in a statement.
The number of people hospitalized due to the coronavirus in El Paso, Texas, has reached an all-time high of 943 patients. And hospitals are struggling to keep up.
Area officials are preparing to add a third mobile morgue unit in anticipation of an increase in deaths.
“If that doesn’t put our situation in perspective, I don’t know what will,” County Judge Ricardo Samaniego wrote on Facebook.
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New York Governor Calls for Vaccine Distribution in Underserved Communities
Although not expected until 2021, several vaccines are in development and officials are making plans for their distribution.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo criticized the Trump administration’s plan on Sunday in a conference call with reporters.
Cuomo said the plan, as the White House explained to him, involves the military distributing a future COVID-19 vaccine to large pharmacy chains for distribution. A plan that, according to him, would disproportionately limit distribution in communities of color.
“Why was the covid infection rate so much higher in black and brown communities?” Cuomo said. “Because they are sanitary deserts.”
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said in September that it will coordinate with the Department of Defense and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the delivery of vaccine supplies.
Cuomo called on the administration to carry out targeted vaccine distribution activities in underserved communities and to grant funds to states to develop their own such programs.
Once the highest, New York’s coronavirus test positivity rate is the third lowest in the country at 1.51%, Cuomo said.
“New Yorkers should be very proud of that fact, but we must also remain vigilant,” Governor Cuomo said.
CNN’s Artemis Moshtaghian, Kay Jones, Evan Simko-Bednarski, Naomi Thomas, and Sheena Jones contributed to this report.
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