“If you look at the deaths as they are happening now – around 1,000 a day – unless we put our arms around that and take them out, we’ll have even more suffering and death,” he said. Dr Anthony said. Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease specialist. “This is the reason why, as I have said many times over and over again, there are things we can do right now in the absence of a vaccine that can set us up,” he said. added.
While there is still no guarantee that the vaccines in development will prove to be effective, at least one vaccine trial in the United States has entered its third phase. In the meantime, health officials are urging states to implement tougher measures after weeks of surging new cases following reopenings that mainly began in May. Across the country, there have been more than 1,000 deaths five times in the past week. And in hospitals in several states, doctors are reporting more incoming patients and maximizing ICUs.
While President Donald Trump said Monday that some governors should be quicker on reopening states, White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr Deborah Birx said over the weekend that some states had a worrying increase in positivity rates and new cases. These states include Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. Health experts, she said, recommending that “100% of people” wear masks in all indoor public places and that social and indoor gatherings be limited to fewer than 10 people.
States crack down on social gatherings
Birx said that among the states responsible for follow-up, there appears to be a pattern of “domestic” infection that begins with young people, typically under the age of 30. These residents, who are usually asymptomatic, then pass the virus on to their parents who then pass it on to other older residents, she said.
In Mississippi, about 80% of coronavirus patients surveyed said they attended a social gathering, including funerals and birthdays, where people did not adhere to social distancing. And in New Jersey, health officials said they have seen several outbreaks resulting from youth gatherings.
To stop these infections, states have cracked down on gathering places – like bars – and advocated with younger groups to adhere to guidelines, including wearing masks and social distancing.
In Columbus, Ohio, city council has approved legislation that would require bars and restaurants to close at 10 p.m. each night starting Tuesday.
“Our city, like many others across the country, is seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases, and there is clear evidence of community spread – especially within places where groups congregate.” Mayor Andrew Ginther said in a statement. “We are also seeing a marked increase among young people, and we know that bars and nightclubs have been the root cause of epidemics locally. ”
In Kentucky, the governor also imposed new restaurant restrictions, closed bars for the next two weeks, and recommended that schools postpone in-person instruction until the end of August.
“It’s time to do the things we need to do, given this stage we are in, to control this virus,” the governor said. “And I know there ended up being questions like ‘why didn’t you do this step four weeks ago, or six weeks ago?’ Listen, this virus doesn’t care about our schedules. “
New York and Miami publish hundreds of quotes related to coronavirus
Despite new restrictions, some local leaders have expressed opposition to the warrants and others – such as sheriffs – have said they will not enforce the rules.
But in Miami and New York, officials have doubled their enforcement.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday that the state issued at least 132 violations over the weekend to bars and restaurants for failing to comply with coronavirus regulations. Most of them were in New York City, Cuomo said.
Since the state began reopening, at least 40 establishments have had their liquor licenses suspended due to violations and 10 of those suspensions have taken place since Friday, the governor said. Failure to follow social distancing policies in bars and restaurants among young people is a concern for his administration, Cuomo said.
Meanwhile, in Miami-Dade County – which has reported more cases than all but 12 states – police issued more than 300 citations in 10 days to individuals and businesses disobeying local order. of masks.
“The growth rate (of cases) has stabilized since we put the masks in place as a rule of thumb and we are following the advice of our healthcare professionals and hospital administrators who tell us what we need to to do now is to focus on law enforcement. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez told CNN on Sunday. “We created a special task force for this and we issued hundreds of tickets during the week. ”
Coronavirus: your questions, answers
Phase 3 of an ongoing US vaccine trial
Authorities are now using precautions like face masks and social distancing to curb the spread of the virus, but soon the country could have even more help.
Vaccine maker Moderna began its final trial of a coronavirus vaccine in the United States on Monday, and volunteers from dozens of sites across the country will participate in the study, Fauci said on Monday.
“There are 89 sites spread across the country,” Fauci said. “In fact, they are widely distributed in areas where there is clearly active infection at present.”
There are expected to be 30,000 adult volunteers in the Phase 3 trial. The first patient was assayed at a site in Savannah, Ga. On Monday.
“I think we’re going to get a good sample of the virus transmission activity that’s going on in the country right now. ”
Fauci said a vaccine will likely not be widely available in the United States for “several months” in 2021.
And that part of the US trial cannot be sped up, a vaccine expert told CNN on Monday.
“Typically, vaccine development programs last 15 years on average. This vaccine development program will probably take a year and a half, ”said Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center and professor of pediatrics in the Division of Infectious Diseases. at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
“The one thing you can’t truncate, merge, or overlap is the Phase 3 trial,” Offit said. “The proof is in the pudding. The phase 3 trial is the pudding and now you’re going to hopefully test 10, 15, 20,000 people who will get this vaccine, 15,000 people who will get a placebo and you will see how safe it really is and you see how effective it is. ”
CNN’s Shelby Lin Erdman, Elizabeth Cohen, Jacqueline Howard, John Bonifield, Jamie Gumbrecht, Artemis Moshtaghian, Janine Mack and Rebekah Riess contributed to this report.