US sees highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations since pandemic began

Despite progress on the vaccine front, health officials say the next few months will be grim.

News 12 Staff

Dec 3, 2020, 2:33 PM

Updated 1,298 days ago

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COVID-19 vaccines are expected to begin rolling out to Americans in just a few weeks, but they likely won't be widely available until sometime next year.
Experts say the vaccine can't come soon enough, as the virus is spreading at record-setting rates.
The United States surpassed 100,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations on Wednesday, the highest since the pandemic began.
 "People from all walks of life, all ages, are getting afflicted by COVID-19," says Dr. Jacob Keeperman, an ICU physician at Renown Regional Medical Center. Wednesday also saw the highest daily number of COVID-19 deaths reported – more than 2,700, according to Johns Hopkins University.
 "It is incredibly challenging to be holding the hand of a patient when they take their very last breath because their loved ones can't be with them and then having to call their loved ones after to tell them they won't be coming home," says Dr. Keeperman. Despite progress on the vaccine front, health officials say the next few months will be grim.
"December and January and February are going to be rough times. I actually believe they're going to be the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation," says Dr. Robert Redfield, the CDC director.
The CDC is advising people to not travel for the December holidays, a similar warning that was widely ignored over Thanksgiving. 
The CDC says people who come into contact with someone who has the virus should quarantine for at least 10 days. For those who test negative, the time is reduced to at least seven days. 


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