As COVID-19 Cases Surpass Records, Cautions Against Holiday Gatherings

November 16, 2020

*This content originally aired on NPR.


One week ago today, the United States reached a terrible number, 10 million COVID cases since the start of the pandemic. This morning, we reach 11 million – 1 million new cases in one week, which shows how quickly the situation is deteriorating. Hospitalizations are reaching a record high. And that helps explain why public health officials are urging people to rethink their holiday plans. NPR’s Allison Aubrey is on the line, as she is just about every Monday. Hey there, Allison.

ALLISON AUBREY, BYLINE: Good morning, Steve.

INSKEEP: You know, I was looking at the NPR chart of the states that we published the other day, the yellow, orange or red, depending on how bad it is. And just a shocking amount of the map was red, I mean, most of it seemed to be.

AUBREY: Yeah. You know, it’s hard to point to hot spots because the virus is circulating so widely all over the country. Since early November, Steve, there’s been an 80% increase in new cases. And we have not yet reached the peak. I mean, just look at the positivity rates. I just checked the CDC’s latest numbers. They’re rising nationwide. We have a double digit, 11%, positivity rate. Some counties in Iowa, the upper Midwest have two times that rate. And there are 70,000 people hospitalized with COVID-19 right now.

You know, these things are a dial, not a light switch. And so I think that that will be a part of our discussion is really understanding better when and where to turn up that dial based on data.

President-elect Biden’s coronavirus adviser and Executive Director of Global Health Council

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