Medical experts fear holiday season COVID surge

(NBC) – The race to vaccinate and boost Americans as families prepare to gather for the holidays is heating up. Authorities are stressing the importance of being protected as COVID cases skyrocket in parts of the country.

The warning signs are clear in pockets across the country. A crushing wave of new COVID cases is already eclipsing last winter’s deadly surge.

As the U.S. closes in—again—on 100,000 new cases a day, more than half the nation is now recording a rise in infections.

Dr. Darryl Elmouchi said, “We’re far overcapacity and really working hard to care for all these people.

In parts of the Midwest, where the Department of Defense is sending medical teams to relieve exhausted front-line workers, doctors fear the holidays will fuel an even larger surge.

Dr. Elmouchi was asked what he anticipates in the weeks and months ahead. He replied, “You know, I’m afraid that what we’re seeing here in Michigan is probably just a foreshadowing of what we’ll see across the country with more COVID more deaths and more challenges ahead, at least for the coming months.”

With inoculation numbers still climbing, 95% of federal workers—nearly 3.5 million employees—met the Monday vaccine mandate deadline.

But the latest daily numbers show the majority of new shots into arms are boosters, not new vaccinations.

“Infections among the unvaccinated continue to drive this pandemic, hospitalizations, and deaths,” Dr. Elmouchi said.

Even with COVID cases climbing 32% among children, it’s not fear, but holiday cheer most families are thinking of.

Compared to this time last year, massive lines for COVID testing are all but gone as we mark our first holiday season with vaccinations widely available, in part due to vaccinations and more turning to easy at-home kits for reassurance.

Even as our nation faces troubling days ahead, there are reasons to be grateful.

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