“MSU is committed to doing everything possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said MSU physician David Weismantel. “The safety of our entire community is a priority and we all have a role to play in preventing the spread of the virus.”
Kelly Girtz, mayor of Athens-Clarke County, Georgia – home to the University of Georgia – told CNN on Saturday that her city experienced a “dramatic spike” in cases after maintaining lowercase and death tolls throughout. the summer. UGA classes started on August 20th.
“Clearly it is the return to campus of a large number of students who are not here over the summer,” he said.
“Certainly young people will do the things that young people do, so we need to create the underlying conditions that keep people safe,”
Arkansas reported a record 1,107 new cases on Friday, and Governor Asa Hutchinson said a test backlog was to blame. According to Dr. José Romero, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Health, about 13% of the state’s cases were attributed to young people in college communities, although he said it was down from previous counts, calling it a “good indicator. “.
Air pollution from fires could lead to vulnerability
“Several studies have shown a correlation between higher levels of air pollution and greater prevalence and severity of Covid-19 cases,” said Dr. Brad Spellberg, medical director of Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, citing several studies conducted in the United States, China and Italy. “Studies have also shown that exposure of lung tissue to pollution can increase susceptibility to viral infections.”
Smoke from fires can irritate the lungs and cause inflammation that can affect the immune system, said Dr. Rekha Murthy, an infectious disease specialist at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. That inflammation can make people more at risk for lung infections.
“Whenever the lung lining or airways become inflamed or damaged, the potential for inhaled viral particles to take hold in the lungs and cause infections increases,” Murthy said.
There are also concerns that the smoke-filled air will drive coronavirus positive people into the home, CNN medical analyst Dr Leana Wen said. This, he said, could potentially increase the spread of the virus.
“We know that being outdoors rather than indoors reduces the transmission rate … but now people are being told you have to go indoors because you don’t want to breathe the air which could cause respiratory problems,” he said. “But you don’t want to be indoors with other people and have a higher rate of contracting COVID-19 … so, it’s really a 22 problem.”
To prevent the possible spread of the coronavirus during the intense fire season, those who stay indoors due to poor air quality should stay away from anyone not in their immediate vicinity, Wen said.
Early use of the mask would have saved lives
About 150,000 of the lives lost He would have been saved if more Americans had worn masks earlier during the coronavirus pandemic, says a health expert.
“If the president had said from day one that everyone wears a mask, we would have about 45,000 deaths in this country,” said CNN medical analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a cardiologist and professor of medicine at George Washington University.
Reiner pointed out how Germany handled the pandemic.
“They weren’t the best. They weren’t the worst. They were right in their response to the pandemic and had about 10,000 deaths,” she told CNN’s Erin Burnett.
The United States has four times the population of Germany. “So we would have about 45,000 deaths in this country,” he said. “So about 150,000 people would be alive.”
He reiterated the importance of embracing masks.
“If you want to think about why we still have 40,000 cases a day and 1,000 deaths a day in this country, it’s because we’re still talking about masks,” Reiner said. “It’s that simple.”
More deaths are expected if people let their guard down
An influential model predicts a catastrophic winter with a significant increase in coronavirus deaths.
One possible scenario sees 415,090 deaths from Covid-19 by January, according to the latest forecasts from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). The worst case scenario is 611,000 deaths by January 1st.
“When we look forward into winter with seasonality coming up, people clearly become less alert, you know the use of masks is decreasing, mobility has increased in the nation, put it all together and it looks like we’re going to have a deadly December ahead. us in terms of the coronavirus toll, “IHME director Dr. Christopher Murray told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
Despite the dire prediction, President Donald Trump says the US has done “really well” in fighting the virus.
“I truly believe we are turning the corner and vaccines are right there, but not even discussing vaccines and not discussing therapies, we are turning the corner,” Trump said.
Speaking with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Friday, Dr Anthony Fauci said he disagreed with the president’s statements.
“We are reaching a plateau of about 40,000 cases a day and deaths of about 1,000,” said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
He said test positivity is increasing in some regions of the country and people are spending more time indoors due to the cooler weather.
“It’s not good for a respiratory-borne virus,” he said.
Fauci warned that the country needs to lower levels “so that when you find yourself in a more precarious situation, such as autumn and winter, you will not have a situation where you are really at a disadvantage from the start. . “
Ray Sanchez, Harmeet Kaur, Amir Vera, Ben Tinker, Maggie Fox, and CNN’s Shelby Lin Erdman contributed to this report.