Coronavirus updates: As Joe Biden urges unity, CDC projects up to 321K deaths by Dec. 19; 1 out of every 145 infected in Los Angeles County

President-elect Joe Biden called for unity in the country’s fight against the raging coronavirus pandemic during a Thanksgiving Eve address.

“I know the country has grown weary of the fight,” Biden said. “We need to remember we’re at war with the virus, not with one another. Not with each other.”

Biden gave his address a day after the U.S. reported its deadliest day since May, with more than 2,000 new cases. It could get worse: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday published a national ensemble forecast that predicts 294,000 to 321,000 coronavirus deaths by Dec. 19.

In Los Angeles County, the nation’s most populous, public health officials said infections are skyrocketing, with approximately one out of every 145 people infected with the virus. That estimate was at 1 in 880 residents two months ago, according to the Los Angeles Times.

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has reported more than 12.7 million cases and over 262,100 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: 60.3 million cases and 1.4 million deaths.

🗺️ Mapping coronavirus: Track the U.S. outbreak in your state.

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Missouri doctor’s video recreates what COVID patients see ‘at the end’

Dr. Kenneth Remy knows the toll the coronavirus pandemic has taken on U.S. and he’s confident things will get better in 2021 with an effectively distributed vaccine. First, the country needs to get through the winter — and that means adhering to coronavirus-related precautions like wearing a mask, he said.  

That’s why Remy, a researcher at Washington University in St. Louis and physician at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children’s Hospital, made a video to stress the point. The video is meant to be a first-person view of what it’s like to be intubated while breathing too fast – “30, 40, 50 times a minute,” Remy said.  

“You’re lying in that bed, looking up at me and others in the room,” he said. “It simulates, basically, what it looks like to breathe, and then, frankly, what it looks like for me to come at you with an endotracheal tube and a laryngoscope.” 

He added: “For some patients, that’s all they see at the end of their life. They see that, they get some medicines and they never awaken again.”  

– Jordan Culver

Coronavirus postpones national math, reading tests until 2022

A national reading and math test that has long been used to track U.S. student achievement is the latest postponement amid the coronavirus pandemic, officials announced Wednesday.

Concerns over the accessibility of the National Assessment of Educational Progress have postponed the test to 2022, the National Center for Education Statistics said.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress, typically occurring every two years, had been slated early next year for hundreds of thousands of the country’s fourth and eighth graders. The national assessments are given to a representative sample of students, from all socioeconomic backgrounds, across the 50 states. It is overseen by the government.

– Elinor Aspegren

4 players on MLS playoff team test positive for COVID

Four Columbus Crew players have tested positive for COVID-19, the club announced Wednesday night, four days ahead of Sunday’s home match in the Eastern Conference semifinals against Nashville SC.

According to the club press release, no additional players or staff tested positive on Wednesday. The Crew is still scheduled to train on Friday and Saturday, and has not identified the individuals who have tested positive.

This latest outbreak comes as Ohio continues to see soaring daily numbers of COVID-19 cases. State officials recorded 10,835 new cases on Wednesday.

– Jacob Myers, The Columbus Dispatch

Mink infected with COVID rise from their graves in Denmark

Mink infected with a mutated strain of COVID-19 in Denmark appear to be rising from the dead, igniting a national frenzy and calls from local officials to cremate mink carcasses.

While the sight itself is certainly terrifying for the residents of West Jutland, a region of the country grappling with confirmed COVID-19 cases connected to mink, there is likely a scientific explanation for the zombie-like reemergence from their graves. A Danish police spokesman, Thomas Kristensen, told a state broadcaster that gases form while the body decays underground, according to the Guardian.

“In this way, in the worst cases, the mink get pushed out of the ground,” Kristensen said of the nightmarish sight.

The nation has planned to cull all 15 million mink in the country, which produce 40% of the world’s mink fur. Because of the rushed burial, the animals were placed in shallow graves – just over three feet deep. Now, officials plan to bury the creatures in graves nearly double the depth.

– Joshua Bote

COVID-19 resources from USA TODAY 

Contributing: The Associated Press

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