The concerns about Thanksgiving becoming the superspreader event to end all superspreader events are seeming more and more dire by the day. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued revised guidelines for the holiday, recommending against celebrating with those outside of your household and cautioning that travel could put you, your loved ones, and fellow travelers in danger. This week, Anthony Fauci, MD, warned that Thanksgiving gatherings could cause 50,000 more COVID deaths by year’s end. And now, one state is taking new action to prevent people from coming together and behaving irresponsibly around the Thanksgiving holiday. On Nov. 23, the state of Pennsylvania announced a one-night ban of alcohol sales at all bars and restaurants statewide on the night before Thanksgiving, one of the biggest drinking nights of the year. Read on for the details, and for more recent pandemic developments, check out These 5 People Will Get the COVID Vaccine First, Dr. Fauci Says.
At a Nov. 23 press conference, Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Rachel Levine, MD, announced “an order to suspend alcohol sales at all bars and restaurants at 5 p.m. on just one night, Wednesday, Nov. 25, until 8 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 26.” Pennsylvania’s one-night alcohol ban is the first order of its kind in the U.S.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf added that state officials came to that decision because “when people get together in that situation, it leads to an increase in the exchange of the fluids that leads to increased infection.”
He added: “This is one of the many steps we’re taking to say, ‘If we all do this together, we’re going to defeat this virus.’ That’s what we should be focused on.”
Wolf also announced a new statewide stay-at-home advisory, urging residents to only go out for essential school and work. The advisory includes the recommendation that households should not mix, even on Thanksgiving. In addiction, Pennsylvania reduced indoor venue capacity to below 10 percent while outdoor venues can host 15 percent capacity for events with 2,000 people or less.
The state of Pennsylvania, like many others, is seeing a serious COVID surge right now, with new daily cases growing 117 percent from the average two weeks ago, The New York Times reports.
While Pennsylvania’s case numbers are jarring, the virus is actually spreading faster in many other states. The website Rt.live ranks states by their Rt values, which is “the average number of people who become infected by an infectious person.” According to the site, if a state’s Rt is above 1.0, the virus is spreading quickly; when the Rt is below 1.0, it’s starting to stop spreading. Pennsylvania’s Rt value is 1.15 and here are the 13 states whose values are equal or higher. And for an update on how your area is faring, find out How Bad the COVID Outbreak Is in Your State.
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And for more on how states are handling this surge, find out How Close Your State Is to Locking Down.
And for more updates on this holiday week, know that If You’re Doing This, You Won’t Be Totally Safe From COVID on Thanksgiving.
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And for the subtle signs you could have caught the virus, check out These 4 Easy-To-Miss Symptoms Could Mean You Have COVID, Experts Say.
And for more on the inoculation process, check out If You’re This Age, You May Be Last to Get the COVID Vaccine, Fauci Says.
And if you’re wondering if you could be sick, know The Tell-Tale Sign You’ve Already Had COVID, According to a Doctor.
And for more guidance from the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, check out 4 Places Dr. Fauci Says He Wouldn’t Go Right Now.