The United States has reached another grim coronavirus milestone.
According to data published by John Hopkins University, the country officially passed 12 million COVID-19 cases on Saturday. The news comes just a day after the US recorded over 195,000 new cases and more than 1,878 fatalities, which marked the highest number of daily virus-related deaths since May.
The increasing surge of new cases has prompted state officials to reimplement lockdown restrictions, including overnight curfews, school closures, and capacity limitations on bars, restaurants, and gyms. The Centers for Disease Control has also urged Americans to either postpone or completely cancel travel plans for Thanksgiving, citing the health risks road trips and commercial flights pose. For those who are willing to take the risk, the CDC recommends getting a flu shot before travel in addition to taking the standard precautions: wearing a face mask in public, maintaining six feet of physical distance from others, and frequent hand-washing.
"I would say to those who are homesick ... just hold the line," Dr. Chris Pernell, a public health physician at New Jersey's Newark University Hospital, told CNN. "Hold on a little bit longer until we can get to the point in the nation where we know that the pandemic isn't accelerating. Otherwise it could be deadly."
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has said residents should expect additional restrictions following Thanksgiving, as the city has already hit a COVID-19-positivity rate of three percent.
"The restrictions that are coming. I've been very overt in the fact that the governor said an orange zone is coming," the mayor told WNYC on Friday. "By our own projections, based on the state data, that will happen soon after Thanksgiving, probably the first week of December."
These restrictions may include closures of gyms, salons, and eateries with indoor dining.