New York to reopen emergency hospital; CDC urges contact tracers to change strategy — 5 COVID-19 updates

U.S. COVID-19 hospitalizations hit a record Nov. 23, with 85,836 patients hospitalized, according to data from The COVID-19 Tracking Project.  

The nation's seven-day case average reached a new high with more than 173,000 infections per day, reports The New York Times. Nine states — Arizona, California, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Vermont — are reporting more than twice as many new cases than two weeks ago, according to NYT.  

Four more updates:

1. The CDC is urging contact tracers to prioritize contacting people who tested positive for COVID-19 within the last six days. The guidance, updated Nov. 23, is aimed at areas where high rates of virus spread make it difficult or impossible to investigate new cases in a timely manner.  

2. A CDC advisory panel on Nov. 23 agreed that healthcare workers and long-term care residents should receive a COVID-19 vaccine first, followed by essential workers and adults over age 65 or those with high-risk medical conditions, reports Medpage Today. The CDC's  Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices discussed the priority groups during a Nov. 23 meeting but has yet to conduct a formal vote on the plan.

3. New York will reopen an emergency hospital on Staten Island to expand bed capacity amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a Nov. 23 media briefing. COVID-19 hospitalizations in Staten Island have nearly tripled in the past three weeks from 33 on Nov. 2 to 91 on Nov. 22, according to The New York Times.

4. Texas will not reenact or implement further lockdown orders in the state despite rising COVID-19 cases, Gov. Greg Abbott said during a Nov. 23 interview on CNBC's "Squawk Box." The governor said automatic restrictions — including closing bars — that are implemented when a region's hospitalization numbers surpass a certain threshold are sufficient.

Snapshot of COVID-19 in the U.S.

Cases: 12,421,993
Deaths: 257,707
Recovered: 4,633,600

Counts reflect data available as of 8:25 a.m. CST Nov. 24.

More articles on public health:
Number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, state by state: Nov. 24
'I do not have hope this will turn out well': New Jersey hospital leaders outline concerns for next COVID-19 surge
24 states where COVID-19 is spreading fastest, slowest: Nov. 24


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