Biden aide says no US-wide COVID lockdown planned as West Coast states advise against travel

Biden aide says no US-wide COVID lockdown planned as West Coast states advise against travel

Washington, November 13

President-elect Joe Biden’s high coronavirus adviser mentioned on Friday there have been no plans for a wholesale nationwide lockdown to curb the surging COVID-19 pandemic whereas three US West Coast states collectively known as for a halt in non-essential journey.

The warning in opposition to pointless transit got here because the each day enhance in COVID-19 circumstances within the United States rose to a report of over 1,77,000 on Friday, the fourth straight day a brand new all-time excessive has been set, in keeping with a Reuters tally of figures from U.S. public well being companies.

California, Oregon and Washington urged residents to keep away from venturing out of state, citing issues raised by well being consultants that the approaching vacation journey season would speed up already alarming spikes in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown took the extra step of ordering social gatherings restricted to not more than six individuals, efficient instantly, a restriction she mentioned she was ready to implement.

“I am not asking you, I am telling you, to stop your social gatherings … and your house parties and to limit your social interactions to six and under, not more than one household,” Brown mentioned.

Similarly, New Mexico’s appearing well being secretary, Billy Jiminez, prolonged via the top of November a three-week-old ban on gatherings of greater than 5 individuals who don’t stay in the identical family, together with a directive advising state residents to remain “in their homes for all but the most essential activities and services”.

That order additionally requires face coverings be worn in public and mandates the closure of workplaces not outlined as “essential businesses,” resembling grocery shops, farms, childcare centres, banks, “big-box” retailers, factories and healthcare services.

The dire state of affairs has prompted a rising listing of state and native governments to re-impose restrictions they eased throughout a summertime ebb in COVID-19 outbreaks.

The governors of six states within the Northeast, the area hit hardest within the early months of the pandemic, plan an emergency assembly this weekend to coordinate responses, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo mentioned.

The nation’s patchwork of measures will probably stay intact after Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20 following his election defeat of Republican President Donald Trump, the top of the Democrat’s coronavirus advisory board mentioned.

“We’re not in a place where we’re saying shut the whole country down,” Dr Vivek Murthy, former US surgeon-general, informed ABC’s “Good Morning America”.

“Right now, the way we should be thinking about this is more like a series of restrictions that we dial up or down depending on how bad a spread is taking place in a specific region,” he mentioned.

Murthy’s feedback had been a pointy rebuttal to Trump’s repeated marketing campaign assertions that Biden was intent on locking down the nation if he had been elected president.

Medical consultants level to elevated indoor gatherings with the onset of winter, together with lapses in social distancing and mask-wearing habits, as the primary components stoking an ominous nationwide surge in coronavirus transmissions and the speed of COVID-19 checks coming again positive.

The mounting caseload is beginning to pressure the assets of some hospitals and is on monitor to push many to the brink, they warn.

“I’m 100 per cent worried about the holidays,” Dr Khalilah Gates, a pulmonary specialist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, informed Reuters on Friday. “We don’t have an endless ability to surge,” she added.


Announcing the West Coast journey advisory, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr Mark Ghaly mentioned a strict mandate was dominated out over issues that “COVID fatigue” may spark a backlash, main individuals to behave in methods which might be much less secure.

The advisory urges people getting into or returning to the three states to self-quarantine for 14 days, the presumed incubation interval for the virus.

On Thursday, California grew to become solely the second state, after Texas earlier this month, to see its tally of confirmed infections high a million, with its each day common of recent circumstances leaping almost 50 per cent within the first week of November.

“This is the fastest rate of rise we have seen in California,” mentioned Dr Erica Pan, the state’s appearing well being officer and chief epidemiologist.

Illinois reported a report 15,433 new circumstances on Friday, essentially the most of any state in a 24-hour interval, surpassing the earlier all-time excessive of 15,300 set by Florida in July.

New each day circumstances rose to 1,77,620 on Friday, crossing the 100,000-mark for the 10th day, the Reuters tally confirmed. The nation additionally has averaged over 1,000 deaths a day for the previous seven days, a development final seen in August.

The each day caseload has greater than doubled in 13 states over the previous two weeks, most of them within the Midwest, in keeping with the Reuters tally.

Dr Robert Kim-Farley, an epidemiology professor on the University of California, Los Angeles, attributed among the spikes to latest Halloween celebrations. He warned of extra to come back if Americans let their guard down for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Chicago has urged residents to remain at house and shun guests for the following 30 days, together with Thanksgiving.

New York City eating places had been ordered closed to indoor eating at 10 pm whereas Detroit public faculties suspended in-person studying beginning on Friday.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the highest US infectious illness skilled on Trump’s coronavirus process drive, mentioned his recommendation to Biden’s transition staff can be the identical, proceed emphasising social distancing, avoiding crowds, sporting masks and washing arms.

“Public health principles don’t change from one month to another or from one administration to another,” he mentioned in an interview. Reuters