Fauci warns of 'surge upon a surge'; Moderna seeks emergency approval for COVID-19 vaccine — 6 updates

COVID-19 hospitalizations continued to tick up through the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, with the U.S. reporting more than 93,000 hospitalizations Nov. 29, according to data from The Covid Tracking Project. 

The U.S. "may see a surge upon a surge" of new cases in the next few weeks because of  people traveling or holding large gatherings for Thanksgiving, Anthony Fauci, MD, said Nov. 29 on ABC's This Week. 

"We don't want to frighten people, but that's just the reality," the nation's top infection control expert said, adding that current holiday public health restrictions will likely remain in effect through the end of the year.  

Five more updates:

1. Anyone who attended a large Thanksgiving gathering or traveled over the holiday should assume they're infected and get tested, White House Coronavirus Task Force coordinator Deborah Birx, MD, said Nov. 29 on CBS News' Face the Nation.

2. The federal COVID-19 data system run by HHS varies greatly from state-supplied information, according to a Nov. 29 investigative report from Science. A review of the database, called HHS Protect, and other confidential federal documents showed that HHS data for metrics like COVID-19 hospitalizations and intensive care unit capacity often varied significantly compared to data from states or other federal sources. An HHS official told Science that state numbers "are always going to be lower" by up to 20 percent, since hospitals are required to report data to the agency, but not the state. 

3. Moderna is set to file for FDA emergency use authorization Nov. 30 for its COVID-19 vaccine. The Phase 3 study of 196 COVID-19 patients found vaccine efficacy to be 94.1 percent, while vaccine efficacy against severe COVID-19 was 100 percent. 

4. In nine states, more than 1 in every 1,000 people have died from COVID-19-related causes, reports The Washington Post. South Dakota became the latest state to report at least one virus death for every 1,000 residents, along with Connecticut, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota and Rhode Island.

5. New York City will reopen public elementary schools Dec. 7, an abrupt policy shift announced Nov. 29 by Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza. Middle and high schools will remain closed for now. The city is abandoning its percent test positivity threshold previously used to determine when to close school systems, according to Mr. de Blasio.

Snapshot of COVID-19 in the U.S.

Cases: 13,386,251
Deaths: 266,887
Recovered: 5,065,030

Counts reflect data available as of 8:20 a.m. CST Nov. 30.

More articles on public health:
26 states where COVID-19 is spreading fastest, slowest: Nov. 30
Antibody levels decline after 2 months, CDC finds
CDC may shorten 14-day COVID-19 quarantine recommendation


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