Several COVID-19 Advisers Make Grim Predictions

several covid 19 advisers make grim predictions

December 1, 2020 — Members of both President-elect Joe Biden’s coronavirus advisory board and the White House Coronavirus Task Force issued grim forecasts this weekend for COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the coming weeks.

“We fully expect that in about a week or two after Thanksgiving, we will see an increase in cases first, then about a week or two later, you’ll start to see an increase in hospitalizations, and then another week or two after that, you’ll start to see deaths,” Celine Gounder, MD, one of Biden’s advisers and an infectious diseases specialist at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine, told CBS News.

COVID-19 symptoms can develop up to two weeks after exposure, she explained, so public health officials are cautiously watching the numbers after millions of Americans traveled during the past week for the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Unfortunately, that means that many people who celebrated with family, with friends, over Thanksgiving will find themselves in the hospital, in ICUs over Christmas and New Years,” she said.

New daily COVID-19 cases surpassed 200,000 for the first time on Friday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The previous high was 196,000 on Nov. 20.

Any indoor gathering could be a potential site for transmission, Gounder said, including stores with holiday shopping, music concerts or religious services. Crowded spaces, in particular, could lead to an increased risk for transmission.

As cases rise in December, she added, calls to “flatten the curve” will likely reemerge to prevent health care systems and hospitals from being overwhelmed.…

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