“Things will get worse before they get better,” President-elect Joe Biden said of the winter wave.
Johns Hopkins University reported 19,218 new coronavirus cases and 3,286 new deaths in the United States on Saturday. More than 395,000 people have died since the start of the pandemic.
The North Dakota mask’s term will expire on Monday. In a statement Friday, Governor Doug Burgum cited an 80% drop in active cases since an outbreak in mid-November.
“Our caseload and hospital capacity have improved dramatically in North Dakota over the past two months, and with three new tools we didn’t have last fall – vaccines, rapid tests and effective treatments – we can see the light at the end. of the tunnel, ”Burgum said.
“However, this fight is not over, and we need all North Dakotans to continue to exercise their personal responsibility, follow protocols and continue to wear masks where physical distance is not possible. . The day will come when we can take off our masks and throw them away, with confidence, but only if we do what is necessary now to keep ourselves, our families and communities safe. “
In Illinois, three areas of the state are adopting less restrictive lockdowns.
“I’m happy to report today that the majority of areas in Illinois are doing well,” Governor JB Pritzker said Friday.
The state will soon see the return of group fitness classes, “low risk youth and recreational sports” and the reopening of museums, the governor said.
LA County exceeds 1 million infections
The recent optimism seen in places like North Dakota, which at one point experienced the nation’s worst outbreak, has yet to be matched everywhere.
At least 13,741 residents have died from Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, according to the county health department.
“It’s surreal. It feels like waking up to a nightmare every day,” said David Ortiz, of the LA Fire Department, speaking with CNN’s Paul Vercammen on Saturday about the county’s prevention efforts, who include a new vaccination center at Dodger Stadium.
“It’s hard to imagine that many people die, each of them is a story, it’s a family,” he said.
Michael Diaz, an emergency medical technician in Los Angeles, told CNN’s Brianna Keilar, “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Diaz said the pandemic has pushed the boundaries for first responders, healthcare workers and the system.
Deciding whether or not to transport a critically ill patient is not an easy one, “but now it gets to the point if someone has coronavirus in particular, we just give them 20 minutes and if they are not viable after 20 minutes. minutes, we ‘you make a rough decision,’ he said.
After Los Angeles, Cook County in Illinois and Maricopa County in Arizona have the second and third highest infection totals in the county, respectively. The two counties have had more than 400,000 cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Federal official blames ‘restrictive’ governors for slow vaccine rollout
These numbers fall short of previous distribution targets set by Operation Warp Speed. The blame game between state governors and the federal government continued this week as it was revealed that there was no federal stockpile of vaccines.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar cited the timing of the vaccine’s approval and the approach of some governors to distribute it for the delays.
“We have had governors who have been too prescriptive and restrictive in the groups of people to whom they are trying to get vaccines distributed,” he added.
In the meantime, states are stepping up immunizations with the supplies they have.
New York City announced on Saturday that although 7 million New Yorkers are now eligible for the coronavirus vaccine, the state is only expected to receive 250,000 doses next week.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on Friday called on the federal government to provide his state with more vaccines. “It’s more and more obvious that we are ready, but the federal authorities are not,” Murphy said.
Christina Maxouris, Melissa Alonso, Paul Vercammen, Cheri Mossburg, Stella Chan, Jessica Firger, Sarah Mucha, Alta Spells, Evan Simko-Bednarski and Hollie Silverman contributed to this report.