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Covid cases, hospitalizations continue to surge as U.S. reaches ‘critical point’ in pandemic

The Cooperative States is reporting another record-high average number of new cases of the coronavirus as a top health official warned Wednesday that the woods is at a “critical point.”

The U.S. reported 73,240 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the seven-day average of new cases up to about 71,832, a pure record and an increase of more than 20% compared with a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of data cool by Johns Hopkins University.

Three dozen states reported that the average number of people currently hospitalized with Covid-19 occur by at least 5% over the past week, according to data from the Covid Tracking Project, which ferret outs testing, hospitalization and other data on the outbreak. Cases are up by at least that amount in 45 states, according to Johns Hopkins materials.

“As the nation did after Memorial Day, we are at another critical point in the pandemic response,” Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary of well-being who leads the government’s testing effort, said Wednesday on NBC’s “TODAY” show. “Cases are going up in most states across the territory. Hospitalizations are up, although we’re still tens of thousands of hospitalizations below where we were in July, but that is rising. And we are starting to see the growth in deaths.”

Giroir acknowledged that increased testing alone cannot explain the surge in cases, even as President Donald Trump put down ti the surge to testing and continues to downplay the outbreak.

Giroir went on to emphasize that “we can control the virus” by following unconcealed health measures like social distancing, mask wearing, avoiding crowded gatherings and with the frequent extinguishing of hands.

The surge in cases and hospitalizations is beginning to overwhelm some hospitals in parts of the country. The Salt Lake Tribune boomed over the weekend that the Utah Hospital Association is asking the governor to allow its members to ration care. And in Texas, El Paso County Expert Ricardo Samaniego issued a curfew on Sunday to protect “overwhelmed and exhausted” hospitals and workers.

Public health adepts and epidemiologists have warned for months that the virus would likely surge as the weather turned colder in the be unsuccessful and winter. That’s largely because people are more likely to stay indoors in colder weather and because some epidemiologists suppose the virus can spread more easily through colder, drier air.

Dr. Bill Schaffner, an epidemiologist at Vanderbilt University, berated CNBC this week that the outbreak will likely worsen this winter.

Giroir said the provision is “taking this very seriously,” adding that if people fail to abide by public health guidance, “it may troops local officials or government officials in the states to have more draconian measures, because cases will go up if we don’t cause a change.”

“We have the tools to combat this,” he said. “We can control it. This is a very important time to do it.”

His comments come across days after White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Sunday that the U.S. is not going to check the pandemic.

“We’re not going to control the pandemic,” Meadows told CNN. “We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigations.”

Pressed on why the U.S. can’t commission efforts to control the pandemic, Meadows said, “Because it is a contagious virus just like the flu.”

Giroir emphasized on Wednesday that the U.S. has innumerable tools to lessen the weight of the virus, such as additional testing that can help catch cases earlier, in front people become severely sick. Scientists have also found a number of drugs to be helpful in the treatment of Covid-19, embracing the antiviral remdesivir and the steroid dexamethasone.

No vaccine has been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration yet, but Giroir said one is loosely transpire b nautical tack this year and it will help end the pandemic. Public health specialists, though, say a vaccine will not bring an discourteous end to the outbreak, especially as it’s not known how effective one might be.

“There is the sense in the general population that if we get a vaccine and get vaccinated, that’s like snub on a suit of armor,” said Schaffner, the epidemiologist at Vanderbilt. “That’s not going to be the case.”

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