(CNN) – Hospitals across the United States are under enormous pressure as the nation continues to reach a record number of new COVID-19 cases.
“Every day, we see a growing number of patients with COVID-19, both those who are a little sick and those who are really sick,” said Megan Rannie, CNN’s medical analyst and Brown’s director. -Life Digital Health Center at Brown University in Providence, Rhodes.
“When that happens, our hospitals fill up and our staff get sick. There are few technicians, respiratory therapists, nurses on our floors,” Ranney said, adding, “We’re on the brink of crisis.”
The island of Rhodes is not alone. There were more than 101,200 COVID-19 patients in US hospitals on Friday, a record high, according to a COVID tracking project. Hospital systems and healthcare workers are approaching their breaking points.
“Everywhere we see a rapid increase,” said Dr. Carlos del Rio, an infectious disease physician and executive dean of the Emory University School of Medicine. “And the biggest problem when it comes to rapid growth is that it’s not room, it’s not stuff, it’s actually staff. The staff is tired, sick, and I’m worried that we’re short of staff to take care of patients.”
Experts fear a possible rise in infections associated with Thanksgiving gatherings, which will further strain hospital and healthcare workers.
Dr Shirlee Xie, a hospital specialist and associate director of Hennepin Healthcare Hospital in Minneapolis, said healthcare workers “quench” patients’ fears and colleague exhaustion.
“Thousands more people get the virus every day, and we know it means that in a few days, a week, hundreds of people will come to the hospital and hundreds will die,” she told CNN spokeswoman Anna Kabrere, her voice interrupted.
“I think sometimes when you hear such statistics, you become insensitive to what those numbers mean,” Xsie said. “But for us people who care for these patients, every room is someone we have to look at and say, ‘Sorry, there is nothing more I can do for you.’ “
According to Johns Hopkins University, an average of 182,633 new cases were registered each day in the United States last week on Friday. And the average number of COVID-19 deaths per week on Friday reached 2010, the highest figure since April.
The United States recorded 227,885 cases on Friday alone, the largest number of pandemics in a single day.
The good news is: U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) vaccine consultants plan to meet to discuss Pfizer and Moderna’s applications for emergency use permits (EUAs) for their COVID-19 vaccines, which some state leaders say they are looking forward to the first dose in the coming weeks.
But health officials warn that while some Americans may receive the vaccine by the end of the year, the country is unlikely to see any significant impact until the end of spring.
Meanwhile, experts predict an incredibly challenging coming months.
Millions of California residents have orders to stay at home
Since the start of the pandemic, more than 278,800 people have died in the United States as a result of the virus. More than 10,000 of them have been recorded in the four days since early December, with more than 2,500 deaths reported every day across the United States.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti called the escalating pandemic “the biggest threat to life in Los Angeles we’ve ever faced” on Friday. He said hospitalizations in the Los Angeles area have tripled in the past week, and the area is likely to run out of beds in two to four weeks if cases continue to rise.
In hopes of stopping the tide, large areas of California have announced new orders that affect home stays and affect tens of millions of Californians.
The orders were made after Governor Gevin Newsom announced an order to stay at home in regions where the capacity of hospital intensive care units is below 15%.
San Francisco Bay Area officials on Friday issued an order to stay home, restricting the activities of more than 5.8 million people. The order affects the Alameda, Kontrosta Costa, Marina, Santa Clara, San Francisco and Berkeley areas.
Although the Bay area has not reached this threshold, officials warned that on Thanksgiving weekend they see evidence of a broadcast that could contribute to the rapid growth of their community.
“I don’t think we can wait for the country’s new restrictions to take effect later this month,” Farnitano said on Friday. “We need to act quickly to save as many people as possible. This is an emergency.”
By Saturday, officials in the San Joaquin Valley region, which includes a dozen areas home to more than 4 million people in downtown California, announced orders to stay at home that will take effect Sunday night after the region’s ICU capacity drops below 15%. The state’s Department of Public Health has confirmed that a similar order will take effect simultaneously in southern California, where ICU availability fell to 12.5% on Saturday.
The Southern California has 11 counties, including five of the state’s most populous areas – Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino. About 23 million people live in the region.
“It really is time for us to get back to activity and see if we can turn this case before hospitals are taken over,” said Dr. Robert Wachter, pointing out. California’s performance has been “better than average” throughout the pandemic.
“I see other parts of the country that are still open, even though the number of cases and hospitalizations are much worse than here,” he told CNN. “So I think we’re doing the right thing.”
On Saturday, the state reported a record high of 25,068 new cases. For the other two state regions, Northern California and the Greater Sacramento region, ICU capacity exceeded 20%.
That’s when most Americans start getting vaccinated
Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN on Friday night that healthy non-elderly Americans with no known basic health conditions are likely to start vaccinating in late March through early April.
“The sooner you vaccinate most of the country, the sooner you will have that roof of the herd’s immunity – which would be so important to bring the virus below the threat level,” Fauci said.
Earlier this week, vaccine consultants at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted 13-1 to recommend that both healthcare professionals and residents of long-term care facilities be the first to receive all green light vaccines from the FDA.
Ajman Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources, said Friday that the FDA will consider emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine after an external advisory committee meeting on Dec. 10, given Moderna is not far behind.
According to Giroir, at least 20 million Americans are expected to be able to receive COVID-19 by the end of the month.
However, CNN’s analysis of national plans shows that everyone will lack what is needed to fully vaccinate health care workers and the long-term care population. Across the country, these groups, which are part of the first American party, make up about 24 million people.
“It will be very challenging. Dissemination will be crucial,” former FDA commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg told CNN on Saturday, adding that states would have to prioritize who should be vaccinated first.
In addition, the first vaccines require two doses, so officials will also need to keep track of how many doses each individual has received.
“It will be almost as difficult as the vaccine itself,” Hamburg said.
But the start of vaccination does not mean the end of COVID-19, and leading public health officials warn that masks will continue to play a crucial role in curbing the spread of the virus.
In an interview with CNN magazine Jake Tapper this week, President Joe Biden said in his first day of office he asked all Americans to wear masks in public for 100 days to combat the spread of the virus.
“Only 100 days to disguise, not forever. One hundred days. And I think we’ll see a significant reduction,” Biden said.
Perhaps most collectively, the message was posted by the CDC on Saturday afternoon’s tweet, which reads, “ONLY WEAR A MASK.”
The story was first published on CNN.com, “The US reached a record-high average of 7 days of new Covid-19 cases as hospitals became even more strained.”