A top federal health official is issuing a dire warning: Follow recommended coronavirus measures or risk having the worst fall in US public health history. For your country right now and for the war that we’re in against Covid, I’m asking you to do four simple things: wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands and be smart about crowds,” said Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “I’m not asking some of America to do it,” he told WebMD. “We all gotta do it.” Without following the recommendations, this could be “the worst fall, from a public health perspective, we’ve ever had,” he said.
Some officials are already preparing for the coming months. Mayor Quinton Lucas of Kansas City, Missouri, extended the city’s coronavirus state of emergency order until January 16, 2021. The order requires most people to wear face coverings in public places and limits crowds at bars to 50% capacity. “It is now obvious to everyone that Covid-19 is not going away over the next five months,” Kansas City Health Department Director Dr. Rex Archer said in a news release Thursday. “As we move out of summer and into fall and winter, we will still be confronting this health emergency.” The flu season also occurs in the fall and winter, the CDC said.
Coronavirus has infected more than 5.2 million people and killed over 166,000 nationwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. On Wednesday alone, there were 55,910 reported new cases and 1,499 deaths — the highest number of fatalities since May. Coronavirus continues to spread at high rates across the South, Midwest and West — even as the total number of new cases has declined following a summer surge. The seven-day average of daily coronavirus deaths was over 1,000 on Wednesday, the 17th consecutive day the US averaged over 1,000 deaths per day. “You can’t run away from the numbers,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Diseases, said during a National Geographic panel Thursday. “You can’t run away from the numbers of people who’ve died, the number of people getting hospitalized, the surges we’re seeing.” –CNN