US coronavirus: Leaders in several states warn residents to be on guard as

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The clusters are a “stark reminder” that New Yorkers need to stay vigilant, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday.

“Wear a mask, socially distance, follow the public health guidance — because this thing is not over,” Cuomo said in a statement.

Leading health officials including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, have also warned that the US could see an especially challenging fall and winter this year, especially as social settings move indoors during cold weather. They say cities and counties should prepare by keeping safety measures — such as wearing masks and social distancing — in place.

“We are still knee-deep in the first wave of this,” Fauci said in a Facebook and Twitter livestream.

In Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear on Wednesday urged the state to stop a recent “escalation” of cases after reporting more than 1,000 new infections for the second day in a row.

“Today’s daily report is too high,” the governor said. “I need your help. It’s up to us and we’ve got to get this done.”

In Wisconsin, cases and hospitalizations are soaring. The state on Wednesday reported its highest ever number of Covid-19 hospitalizations — more than double the numbers seen in late August, when they were in the high 200s, Covid Tracking Project data show.

Wisconsin reports record number of Covid-19 hospitalizations after task force warned of 'rapid worsening'

Wisconsin’s seven-day average of new daily official cases hit a high Wednesday — 2,334, well above the averages in the 600s and 700s seen in late August.

This comes days after the White House coronavirus task force warned Wisconsin of a “rapid worsening” of the pandemic there, and urged the state to increase social distancing as much as possible.

And in Illinois, the governor is tightening restrictions in one part of the state after an increase in positivity rates.

As of early Thursday, at least 27 states were reporting higher seven-day averages of new daily cases than a week ago, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Nationwide, more than 7.2 million people have been infected and more than 206,000 have died.

When a vaccine could be available to US population

On Wednesday, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said if its Covid-19 vaccine is proven safe and effective, it could be available to the general population by late March or early April.

Hydroxychloroquine didn't prevent Covid-19 among health care workers in new study
Moderna began its Phase 3 clinical trial for a Covid-19 vaccine in the US in July. It’s one of four companies that have begun Phase 3 Covid-19 vaccine trials in the US — the others are Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer/BioNTech and AstraZeneca. The AstraZeneca trial was paused internationally after an unexplained illness in a volunteer, and it still is paused in the US as American health authorities continue considering questions that remain around the experimental vaccine.

“I think a late Q1, early Q2 approval is a reasonable timeline, based on what we know from our vaccine,” Bancel said at a conference hosted by the Financial Times.

But there are several steps that will have to come before that.

If the safety and efficacy data…

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