The coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic is spreading across the US as the cases are increasing and deaths are rising. Over 2,100 coronavirus related deaths were confirmed on Tuesday, the highest single-day number after May. The US confirmed over 171,000 new cases, the Johns Hopkins University confirmed. A record-breaking number of people are hospitalized at over 88,000, which is the highest number of admissions, as per the COVID-19 Tracking Project.
In spite of the huge numbers, many Americans are traveling for Thanksgiving to spend the holiday with family. They are going in the airports ignoring guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggesting against travel this year.
COVID-19 in US
The US can witness an explosion of the coronavirus infections in the weeks after Thanksgiving, Dr. Jonathan Reiner, who is a former White House medical team adviser told CNN on Tuesday. "It's potentially the mother of all superspreader events." Many health officials believe that the Midwest got the coronavirus last summer due to an event, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota, Reiner mentioned. "Now imagine that on a massive scale -- people leaving from every airport in the United States, and carrying the virus with them," he said.
Americans have been screaming for coronavirus tests ahead of travel but the Assistant Secretary for Health, Adm Brett Giroir stated during a press conference on Tuesday that people should not bother. A coronavirus test ahead of travel is a benefit in the sense that it can alert a person about a positive result, he said.
If a person has coronavirus and has a test day or two later, there can not be enough viral RNA for detecting the virus. So, testing for traveling will not work unless the result comes positive. "What I think I want people to understand, more importantly, is that a test that's negative today doesn't mean you're going to be negative tomorrow or the next day or the following day," Giroir told CNN. "That negative test is not a free pass to do risky behavior," he added.
The US is currently at a critical and dangerous stage in the pandemic where the cases are increasing and the capacity of the hospitals are getting challenged. It is a tough situation but can be reversible. The public health officials stressed continuing mitigation efforts, like wearing masks, social distancing, avoiding crowded places, and washing hands frequently for controlling the spread of the virus and bringing the curve down.