Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts has announced changes to state health measures, including requiring hospitals to reserve at least 10% of staffed general and ICU beds for patients of Covid-19. New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham this week ordered new limits on mass gathering and a 10 pm closing time for establishments serving alcohol. And in Kentucky, Governor Andy Beshear said earlier this month he had instructed the authorities to strengthen the implementation of the mask.
“This is a good moment for people to stop and ask themselves, what can I do to make sure we limit further infections that would otherwise seem to be unfolding before us as the cold weather rises and people are indoors, and those curves are going up, in the wrong direction, “Collins said Friday.
But it is not too late to turn things around. Experts say Americans can help control the virus by following basic public health guidelines that officials have outlined for months: avoiding crowded settings, maintaining distance, maintaining small outdoor gatherings and wearing a mask.
‘We are in a new wave of rising positivity in Covid-19 cases’
On Thursday, at least 26 U.S. states reported more than 1,000 new cases a day, data from Johns Hopkins showed. And 14 states saw their highest 7-day averages for new daily cases: Alaska, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams discussed an influx of new cases and hospitalizations in Wisconsin and said the state’s positive rate was “going in the wrong direction.”
“It is critical that we really understand where this virus is spreading so that we can control cases and restore the positive,” he said on Friday.
In Illinois, Governor JB Pritzker said he was concerned about the increase in infections.
“We are in a new wave of rising positivity in Covid-19 cases nationwide, not just in Illinois,” he said. “One of the challenges today is that three of the worst five states in the country are the Illinois border: Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, which borders the entire Northern Illinois, and of course Indiana to Kentucky.”
The Minnesota explosion is tied to the Trump rally
In Minnesota, public health officials say they have so far monitored at least 20 virus cases back at a rally held by President Donald Trump last month, or at related events.
Of the 20 cases, 16 were among those who attended the rally. Four people said they took part in counter-protests on the same day, the state health department told CNN.
The state has monitored a total of 28 cases in various campaign events in recent weeks. One was linked to a rally for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and three were linked to a speech in Minneapolis by Vice President Mike Pence in late September.
Ahead of an expected Trump rally this weekend, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer urged people planning to attend to wear masks and social distance.
“We are always worried when there are large gatherings without masks and social distance. There is a risk of an outbreak when this happens, so we encourage people to wear their masks and practice long distance,” Tiffany Brown said. , Whitmer’s press secretary, told CNN in a statement.
And in Tucson, Arizona, where Trump is scheduled to hold a political rally on Monday, the mayor wrote an open letter to remind campaign officials of “various ordinances in force” on cities and provinces.
“It is unfortunate that a gathering is dangerous to all the progress we have made so far,” Mayor Regina Romero wrote.
Pfizer announces Covid-19 vaccine plans
In an open letter published Friday by Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla, the company said it plans to apply for the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for its Covid-19 vaccine by November.
“Assuming positive data, Pfizer will apply for US Emergency Use Consent as soon as possible after achieving safety in the third week of November,” the letter said.
But first, writes Bourla, the vaccine must prove safe and effective in preventing the disease.
“And finally, we must show that the vaccine can continue to be developed to the highest quality standards,” Bourla wrote.
Once a U.S. vaccine is approved, CVS and Walgreens pharmacies are designated to help distribute free vaccines to long-term care facilities, federal officials have confirmed. Up to two drug chains to figure out how to deliver vaccines, including cold storage requirements and personal protective equipment.
“This is a completely voluntary program on the part of every nursing home. It is a non-joining program,” Paul Mango, deputy chief of staff for policy at the Health and Human Services Department, told reporter.
CNN Dave Alsup, Andrea Diaz, Nakia McNabb, Samira Said, Nadia Kounang, Andy Rose and Shelby Lin Erdman contributed to this report.