According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), US air traffic hit a pandemic high on the Sunday after Christmas. At least 1.28 million Americans flew.
It was the sixth day in a row that nearly, or more than a million people in airplanes crossed the country despite public health officials like Dr. Anthony Fauci had warned to avoid travel and gatherings during the vacation to slow the rampant spread of COVID-19.
Dr. Fauci reiterated President-elect Joe Biden’s concern that the “darkest days” for the US may still be ahead.
“Also, the reason I and my public health colleagues are concerned is that we may see a post-season increase in the sense of Christmas, New Years and, as I have described, an increase after an increase, because if you do looking at the slope, the slope of the falls that we saw in late fall and early winter is really quite unsettling, ”he said on CNN.
‘We are really at a very critical point.
“So I share President-elect Biden’s concern that things may actually get worse in the next few weeks.”
TSA has screened more than 10.2 million Americans in the past 10 days, compared to more than 24 million in the same period last year.
According to a DailyMail.com analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University, an average of more than 184,000 new infections are recorded each day.
Another 1,209 COVID-19 deaths were reported on Sunday, and the total death toll had reached well over 333,000 by Monday morning.
One in 1,000 Americans has died from the virus in just eleven months since the first case was discovered in Washington state.
With a total of well over 19 million registered coronavirus cases in the United States, every 17th American is infected.
While daily cases and deaths have declined since mid-December, hospitals in much of the country have run out of space to care for seriously ill COVID-19 patients.
More than 100,000 people have now been hospitalized for coronavirus in the United States for 26 days in a row – almost every day this month.
California has once again become a top hotspot in the country. Nearly 96 out of 100,000 people diagnosed daily, and according to the state health ministry, there were no more intensive care beds available in the South or Central regions on Sunday.
Federal and state officials are scrambling to introduce vaccines, but only two million vaccinations have been confirmed so far – a number of US test tsars, Admiral Brett Giroir, says this is “likely an underestimate.”
On Sunday, TSA examined at least 1.28 million American travelers whose flight crossed the country despite U.S. health officials warning against Christmas travel. It was the largest number of travelers since March 15
According to TSA data, about a million people were examined daily for the past six days. Pictured: Masked but crowded travelers on Sunday at Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport
Passengers passed through crowded terminals at Dulles International Airport on Sunday. Health officials have warned that even if the risk of transmission on a flight is low, it can spread to crowded airports or other transportation hubs
The spread of the coronavirus as “viral wildfire,” as a California scientist put it, isn’t the only reason a vaccine can’t come early enough.
A more contagious variant of the virus, identified in the UK earlier this month, is moving closer to the US with four cases identified in British Columbia, according to CBC News.
If the new variant is imported into the United States, it could help accelerate the spread of the deadly disease among Americans.
To bolster defenses against the new tribe, U.S. officials are now urging anyone traveling from the UK to test negative for COVID-19 before entering.
Dr. Anthony Fauci endorsed the preventive move, telling the US viewing the exposure as a potential threat “to follow very closely,” he told the Associated Press.
“We’re looking at this very closely now.”
More than 100,000 Americans have been in US hospitals for COVID-19 (blue) for the last 26 consecutive days as the daily average daily infections (red) stay at around 170,000 and the average daily deaths (gray) exceed 2,000
California has once again become a top hotspot for COVID-19. More than 260,000 new cases were reported last week – including more than 50,000 on Sunday – while Tennessee has the highest per capita infection rate at nearly 120 per 100,000
So far, Dr. Fauci and other scientists from around the world don’t think the new variant is more deadly or vaccines can evade.
Nevertheless, a form of the coronavirus that is spreading faster must be “taken very seriously,” warned Dr. Fauci.
With or without the new strain making its way to the U.S., the increasing spread of the coronavirus threatens to overflow hospitals and is already sending parts of the country into the familiar territory of shop closings, flooded funeral homes, and medical care rationing.
A repeat of the horrors of last vacation seems imminent.
In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suddenly asked Americans not to travel or congregate in person, urging virtual visits or, if people came for festivities, to do so outdoors or to do with masks if you had to be inside.
Thanksgiving trips were down about 40 percent compared to 2019, but more than a million people traveled on each of the three days leading up to the vacation.
The consequences were undeniable. Two weeks after Thanksgiving, the average daily infections in the U.S. had risen over 210,000, numbers never seen before in the American pandemic.
By the time Christmas week was running, things weren’t going any better. Daily cases averaged 210,000 and daily deaths over 2,000.
As of Sunday, California hospitals had treated more than 20,000 people for COVID-19, and both the southern and San Joaquin Valley regions had 0% ICU capacity
Tennessee hospitals are still not overwhelmed, but there are more new cases per capita per day than any other state, with nearly 120 new infections per 100,000 people per day
This time, health officials had kept the same warnings since Thanksgiving, warning not only not to travel but also not to meet with non-household members.
But the holiday season only brought more travel, breaking Thanksgiving records when the US saw more air, bus, car, and train travel than it has since March.
More than 616,000 Americans were screened by TSA on Christmas Day.
At least 1,284,599 people were screened on Sunday – by far the most since March 15.
About half the number flown the same day last year, but a worrying sign that public health guidelines are being ignored.
Several recent studies suggest that the risk of infection in flight is extremely low – less than a fraction of a percent.
However, this does not mean that travel is not a ripe opportunity for coronavirus to spread.
For the past seven days, an average of 56.7 out of 100,000 people in the United States were newly diagnosed with COVID-19 every day.
If the same proportion of yesterday’s travelers had been unknowingly infected in the past week, 29,000 people stood in overcrowded security lines, boarded planes, ate airport food and waited for luggage after their flights.
Of course, this is likely an overestimate considering that around 60 percent of people with coronavirus develop symptoms, which reduces the chances that they’ll feel well enough when they are traveling or knowingly take the risk of spreading the virus if they have symptoms suggesting they have it.
On the other hand, with infection rates so high in the US, it is unlikely that no one was traveling with the virus and being within two meters of other passengers.
For example, the California Health Department estimates that about one in 95 people in Los Angeles was contagious with the coronavirus ass on Saturday.
New daily cases are declining slightly in Arizona but remain high at 88 per 100,000 per capita. More than 1,2,000 new cases and three confirmed deaths were reported yesterday