What happens with COVID-19 'is in the hands of the American public,' CDC director says

©The State (Columbia, S.C.)

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — As families ready to gather next month for Thanksgiving, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expressed worry in South Carolina on Thursday about home gatherings further exacerbating the country’s COVID-19 caseloads, stressing that people should still social distance, wash hands and wear masks.

And he urged Americans to get a flu vaccine, saying that while it won’t prevent contracting the potentially deadly respiratory disease, it could keep people from being hospitalized with the flu.

“At the end of the day, what happens over the next three, four months is in the hands of the American public,” Dr. Robert Redfield said in Columbia. “And I’ve said this, people, some people don’t agree with me, but I really think this is true that if every one of us embraced face coverings, social distancing, hand washing, crowd control, we all did that, we would really control this pandemic. We wouldn’t eliminate it, but we would bring it back under control within six to 12 weeks.”

Redfield’s meeting with South Carolina government and health leaders, including Gov. Henry McMaster, on Thursday came an hour after the state’s public health agency reported 1,000 new positive cases of COVID-19 — the first time cases logged that high in more than a month.

Since the state’s outbreak in March, the health department has reported 154,869 confirmed cases of the virus.

As a result of the virus, 3,400 South Carolinians have died.

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©2020 The State (Columbia, S.C.)