Haleigh Seizys, a Covid-19 ICU nurse at Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, told CNN’s Ana Cabrera on Wednesday that staff are “very worried about what’s to come after the holidays,” urging people to get vaccinated to protect themselves and others against severe illness.
“Day to day, things are tough,” Seizys said. “I have a patient who is not doing well. It takes a lot of time and effort from several different people to try and help these patients improve.
“I truly am exhausted,” she said, although she remains motivated to “help whoever I can.”
“I genuinely wish that they could come and follow me for just an hour so they could see how much their feet hurt, and see how many people are trying to hold back tears day to day, and they can see the trauma these patients are going through,” Seizys said. “These people are dying very traumatic deaths, and it’s so hard to watch.”
The US averaged 1,324 Covid-19 deaths a day over the last week, 11% higher than a week prior, according to Johns Hopkins data.
“We need to watch that very closely,” Gottlieb told CNBC on Wednesday, noting that it’s not clear whether the uptick is due to Delta or if “it’s an early indicator of rising Omicron infections winding up in the hospital.”
The state of New York eclipsed its previous daily case record five times in less than a week, officials reported Wednesday. Gov. Kathy Hochul noted that while the hospitalization rate is “creeping up,” the state’s rate is still only 2/3rds of what it was in December last year.
“We’re not panicking. We have the resources we need,” Hochul said.
New vaccine and booster mandates
“The vaccines are working, and they’re working well to keep people out of the hospital and to keep people from dying from Covid-19. So we don’t need those type of shutdowns, but we do need more people to get vaccinated and boosted,” Bowser said at a press conference Wednesday.
Officials said grocery stores, retail stores and museums would not be required to check for proof of vaccines, and religious institutions are exempt. Eligible students in DC schools are also mandated to get vaccinated by March 1.
“These steps will help limit a potential outbreak on our campus and in our community and protect those most vulnerable to this virus,” a statement from Duke said.
In California, health care workers — already under a vaccine mandate — will be required to get a booster shot, and students will be tested before returning to school in January, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday.
Covid-19 testing crunch arrives
With the surge of Omicron cases, and Christmas and New Year’s fast approaching, the demand for Covid-19 tests is greatly exceeding current supply and has resulted in long lines nationwide as well as a risk of positive cases not being detected.
Additional treatments on horizon
Pfizer’s Paxlovid “should be initiated as soon as possible after diagnosis of Covid-19 and within five days of symptom onset,” according to an FDA statement.
Combining two antiviral drugs, Paxlovid is to be prescribed by a doctor and administered as three pills twice a day for five days.
Paxlovid is not for pre- or post-exposure prevention of Covid-19 and “is not a substitute for vaccination in individuals for whom Covid-19 vaccination and a booster dose are recommended,” the FDA said.
CNN’s Deidre McPhillips, Jamie Gumbrecht, Amanda Sealy, Aya Elamroussi, DJ Judd, Laura Ly, Sam Feist, Kristina Sgueglia, Stella Chan, Sarah Fortinsky, Adrienne Winston and Daniel Maraccini contributed to this report.
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