Over the weekend, the United States topped 12 million cases of COVID-19, according to an NBC News tally, as the uncontrolled spread of the third wave led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to renew the calls on Americans not to travel on Thanksgiving.
In total, 47 states, plus Washington DC, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, are seeing a percentage increase in cases from the past 14 days. North and South Dakota and Hawaii are the only states where cases have stabilized.
So far, the United States has recorded more than 258,000 COVID-related deaths, according to NBC News.
International flyers may soon need to be vaccinated against the virus
Encouraging news on vaccine development has given airlines and countries hope that they can soon revive suspended flight routes and dust off lucrative tourism ventures. But countries in Asia and the Pacific, in particular, are determined not to let their hard-won gains against the virus evaporate.
In Australia, the boss of Qantas, the country’s largest airline, said that once a vaccine for the virus becomes widely available, its carrier will likely require passengers to use it before they can travel to the overseas or land in Australia.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said he had spoken with his counterparts from other airlines around the world about the possibility of a “vaccination passport” for international travelers.
Korea Air and Air New Zealand of South Korea are considering similar measures.
Australia, South Korea and New Zealand have all succeeded in minimizing the spread of the virus, with 900 deaths, 500 deaths and 25 deaths respectively from the coronavirus. They are viewed internationally as success stories, and much of their containment efforts have focused on protecting people with infectious disease.
With infection rates soaring, nationwide death toll from COVID-19 surpassing 250,000, and many hospitals reaching capacity, the Centers for Disease Control and other health professional organizations are urging Americans not to travel during the Thanksgiving holidays.
New York COVID field hospital reopens
New restrictions begin Wednesday for parts of New York City as COVID-19 patients overwhelm hospitals in one of its wards, prompting Gov. Andrew Cuomo to reopen an emergency field hospital as officials health officials predict a further rise in the rate of infection in the states, NBC New York reports.
The area of New York that was of particular concern to Cuomo is Staten Island, where large sections of the borough were already a yellow zone. Staten Island has recorded an average of 209 new COVID-19 cases per day over the past seven days, 86% more than two weeks ago.
“Staten Island is a serious problem. Staten Island is also an issue in terms of hospital overload, and we have a hospital capacity issue in Staten Island that we need to address in the next few days, ”Cuomo said.
At the request of Staten Island hospitals, Cuomo on Monday announced the reopening of an emergency center for COVID patients in South Beach. About 200 patients received treatment at the facility in the spring, state officials, located across from Staten Island Teaching Hospital, said. The field hospital is expected to open its doors to COVID patients by Tuesday or Wednesday this week.
New ‘Safer Home’ Ordinance on Horizon for LA County as COVID-19 Cases Rise Again
A day after announcing plans to eliminate in-person dining at restaurants for three weeks due to a COVID-19 outbreak, Los Angeles County health officials on Monday announced a record daily number of cases that should trigger a “safer-at-home,” reports NBC Los Angeles.
It was not clear what exactly that order will look like, pending a discussion scheduled for Tuesday between health officials and the county supervisory board. Health officials said last week that the order would generally only allow essential and emergency workers and those providing essential services to leave their homes. But county public health director Barbara Ferrer said on Tuesday the details have yet to be worked out with the council.
Ferrer on Monday announced 6,124 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, by far the highest one-day number reported during the pandemic. While about 1,500 of those cases were the result of a backlog in Sunday’s reports, the number was enough to put the county above the daily average of 4,500 cases to trigger a new “targeted” order. safe at home, Ferrer said.
Are dining tents a safe way to eat outside during the pandemic?
Health experts say that outdoor dining tents are generally safer than indoor dining, but be warned, not all are created equal.
Many restaurants are erecting individual tents, igloos and other outdoor structures that allow people who dine together to avoid being indoors, where the coronavirus spreads more easily.
Experts say structures must be well ventilated. A tent with four walls and a roof, for example, might not have better ventilation than an indoor dining area.
“The more air circulates in the structure, the better it is,” says Dr. Isaac Weisfuse, a public health expert at Cornell University.
Between parties, tents should be cleaned and left open for at least 20 minutes, says Aubree Gordon, associate professor at the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan. She also suggests that waiters should be able to leave food on a tray outside to minimize contact with diners.