In many states, local and state leaders are already reporting dramatic milestones.
Kentucky reported its second-highest number of daily cases Friday, ending a week the governor said saw an “escalation” of cases.
“This week is going to shatter last week’s record for number of cases,” Gov. Andy Beshear said Friday. “The situation is getting very dangerous in Kentucky.”
And in Wisconsin, the governor announced the state hit a record of daily deaths this week and urged residents not to try and “live like we’re back to the way things used to be.”
According to the Covid Tracking Project (CTP), hospitalized patients also increased this week for the first time since July. The country reported more than 30,000 hospitalizations on Thursday, CTP data shows.
“This spike we’re seeing in Brown County, Wisconsin, should be a wake-up call to anyone who lives here that our community is facing a crisis,” said Dr. Paul Casey, medical director of the emergency department at Bellin Hospital in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Report: These should be the vaccination phases
Experts advising the federal government say frontline healthcare workers and those who provide health care facility services should be the first to get vaccinated, followed by people at high risk of severe illness due to underlying health conditions.
Next should come older adults living in congregate settings, like nursing homes, a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) committee said in a final report.
But local leaders should also give priority to vulnerable communities, the committee said. That addition comes after criticism over the group’s draft report that was issued last month, which did not mention minority communities that have been hit hardest by the pandemic.
The committee recommends that within each phase of vaccinations, authorities prioritize people in high vulnerability areas, identified by a tool like the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index. The index uses US Census variables to identify communities in particular need of disaster support which the committee says considers the factors that place racial minorities at higher risk of Covid-19.
The third phase proposes vaccination for young adults, children and those in industries where people may receive some protection but are still at risk of exposure, such as banks and universities.
The final phase covers anyone who has yet to receive vaccination.
CNN’s Amanda Watts, Aditi Sangal, Lauren Mascarenhas and Gregory Lemos contributed to this report.