The average daily COVID-19 deaths in the country in a week is 1,654, up from its summer high of around 1,130, but lower than the peak of the pandemic above 2,240 in late April.
“By this time next week, we’re going to be talking about 3,000 deaths a day, that’s September 11 every day,” Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a cardiologist and professor of medicine at George Washington University, told CNN.
The death count reported Wednesday was 2804, topping the previous day’s high of 2603 set on April 15, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Previously, the JHU total for Wednesday was higher, but that count was later corrected due to an error found in a state’s count.
Daily coronavirus cases and hospitalizations have also skyrocketed, prompting CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield to say Wednesday that the winter months will likely “be the most difficult time in health history. public of this nation. “
The 911 emergency call system is “at breaking point,” the American Ambulance Association, which represents all ambulance services in the country, said in a letter Wednesday.
“Without additional relief, it seems likely to break even as we enter the third wave of the virus in the Midwest and West,” the letter said.
As for cases: The nation’s average number of daily new COVID-19 cases in a week was 164,103 on Wednesday, nearly 2.5 times the summer peak in July, JHU data shows.
Los Angeles tells residents to ‘cancel everything’
US states are racing to catch up with the dizzying number of coronavirus hospitalizations.
In Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti said that if the virus continues to spread there at its current and unprecedented rate, Los Angeles will run out of hospital beds by Christmas.
He called on residents to “take shelter” and “cancel everything” to help stop the spread.
A modified stay-at-home order began this week in Los Angeles County, which bans all in-person dinners and gatherings with people outside of a single home for three weeks.
The county’s daily new case count rose 224 percent in the first three weeks of November, and hospitalizations were up more than 85 percent from two weeks ago, county health officials said Wednesday.
“The public health condition of our city is as dire as it was in March in the early days of this pandemic,” Garcetti said Wednesday, adding that the number of daily infections in Los Angeles has tripled since early November and hospitalizations are at a new peak.
In southwestern Kansas, there are no staffed ICU beds available, Governor Laura Kelly said Wednesday.
“While the number of cases may have decreased slightly, the pressure on our hospitals and healthcare workers has not,” he said.
Coronavirus hospitalizations in Nevada have increased daily since November, with few exceptions, peaking Wednesday with 1,652 people hospitalized, the state’s data panel showed.
Vaccine trials for children scheduled for 2021
Although vaccines appear to be on the way, they have only been studied in adults and children older than 12 years.
Trials for younger children could begin early next year, Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said Wednesday.
“We definitely need to get there,” Dr. Collins told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
“We will want, shortly after the first of the year, to also find out: Does this work for younger children, because we know that they can be infected and can transmit this?” He said.
“So that’s the next level of testing that will need to be done in a … vaccine trial to make sure the vaccine is safe and effective in that group,” he said.
“We think it will be, but we want to be sure,” said Dr. Collins.
As of November 19, the latest data available, nearly 1.2 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
And in just two weeks, between November 5 and 19, the number of childhood cases increased by 28 percent, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Association of Children’s Hospitals.
Children now account for nearly 12 percent of all COVID-19 cases in the country.
In the US, Pfizer and Moderna’s candidate vaccines are awaiting emergency use authorizations, and an FDA panel is expected to meet to decide whether to authorize them on December 10 and 17, respectively.
Assuming the vaccines are licensed, their first shipments could take place on December 15 and 22, respectively, according to a federal government Operation Warp Speed document.
A CDC panel recommended Tuesday that healthcare and long-term care workers get vaccinated first.