COVID-19 Updates Around the Country

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Ava Fong

Insert caption here (Image/Ava Fong)

Samay Nandwana, Print Sports Associate

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic completely changed the course of our lives in mid-March, one constant is the looming uncertainty on what tomorrow may bring. Whether seeing cases spike or getting a news notification that another big-name celebrity tested positive, the uncertainty of when life will return to “normal” is something that all Americans are facing. 

Recent peaks in COVID-19 in the United States have been one main factor of this uncertainty. On Friday, November 13, the US saw over 181,196 cases, the highest daily case total since the pandemic began, breaking a record that had already been set multiple times since the beginning of November. In particular, Covid-19 cases have spiked dramatically in the midwestern region of the country. North Dakota is currently leading the United States in cases per capita, and cases in Illinois have increased by 85% in the past two weeks. The rise in cases, especially in rural areas, could pose challenges for medical facilities and limit all patients’ ability to get requisite resources.

Although many universities went fully remote for the fall, several colleges have continued with in-person schooling. Unfortunately, many large universities have experienced high case numbers. For example, the University of Michigan has seen over 600 cases. The New York Times reported that the university has since forced undergraduate students to “remain in their homes for two weeks, except when attending class, eating or working.” Many large public universities across the country have seen case numbers go into the thousands and face the challenge of maintaining students’ and faculty’s safety.

(Image/Ava Fong) (Ava Fong)

Laboratories and companies worldwide are researching the clock in an attempt to bring a vaccine that can ease us back into the lives we had before March. Pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson have now resumed testing of their respective vaccines. AstraZeneca’s testing had been halted since early September while testing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine had been stopped for about two weeks. Both vaccines had been stopped from further testing due to various safety concerns. However, the vaccines received approval to continue their trials from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after it was determined that the vaccine did not cause illnesses present in the testing subjects. After FDA approval, these vaccines are now in the final step of testing, just one step away from regulatory approval. 

Ultimately, the uncertainty caused by COVID-19 has affected many different parts of our lives, and it will take time before we can gather without masks and plexiglass. However, positive news from vaccine development is a good sign that we are headed in the right direction and can give us hope to get through these times. 

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