First, Theresa Pirozzi’s 85-year-old father fell ill and was taken by ambulance to a hospital. Days later, her mother was so weak she could barely walk. Now, instead of making preparations for Christmas, Pirozzi anxiously awaits what the staff of the hospital where her parents are being treated for coronavirus in an intensive care unit will tell her.
“I am not putting decorations here. It’s not okay right now, ”Pirozzi said from his parents’ home in Oak Park, California. “I am physically sick with worry.”
The couple is representative of the crisis that is deepening at an alarming rate in California, where hospitals are on the limit due to the incessant increase in infections in the state. Nearly 17,000 people were hospitalized for confirmed or possible COVID-19 infections on Friday, and according to a model based on the latest data to project future trends, the number in the state could reach a whopping 75,000 by mid-January.
With California’s 48,000 new cases leading the way, the United States added a record 249,709 more COVID-19 patients to its total in a single day, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally on Saturday. The national death toll has exceeded 315,000.
Texas, Florida, New York and Tennessee each had more than 10,400 new cases. In the past two weeks, the seven-day average of new cases in the United States soared to 219,324 per day compared to the previous average of 183,787, an increase of nearly 20%.
The infections were on the rise before Thanksgiving and increased due to the meetings for the celebration. Health authorities now fear the increase will worsen over Christmas and New Years. In many places, people are ignoring the suggested precautions because they are fed up with wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing, according to health authorities.
Although the federal authorities have authorized the use of two vaccines against COVID-19 and doses have already been applied to thousands of people, mainly personnel from the health sector, the widespread inoculation of the general public is expected to take place until after spring.
Several state governments have indicated that the federal government has told them that shipments of Pfizer-BioNtech vaccines next week will be less than initially scheduled. The Army general in charge of distributing COVID-19 vaccines in the United States, Gustave Perna, apologized on Saturday for the “lack of communication” with the states about the number of doses that will be delivered in the initial phases of distribution. .
Of the more than 272,000 doses of Pfizer’s vaccine administered as of Saturday morning, federal health authorities said they had warned six cases of severe allergic reaction. One of the six people had a history of adverse reactions to vaccines, they said.
Richer reported from Boston. Associated Press reporter Jay Reeves in Birmingham, Alabama, contributed to this report.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.