Get a virus test before you travel, experts say as some US states revert to ‘near-lockdown’ | National News

The coronavirus is taking an increasingly dire toll across the U.S. just as a vaccine appears close at hand. The country is now averaging over 1,300 COVID-19 deaths per day — the highest since the calamitous spring in and around New York City.

With health experts deeply afraid Thanksgiving travel and holiday gatherings next week will fuel the spread of the virus, many states and cities are imposing near-lockdowns or other restrictions. California ordered a 10 p.m.-to 5-a.m. curfew starting Saturday, covering 94% of the state’s 40 million residents.

Amid the bleak new statistics, Pfizer said Friday it is asking U.S. regulators to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine, setting in motion a process that could make the first, limited shots available as early as next month, with health care workers and other high-risk groups likely to get priority.

But it could take months before the vaccine becomes widely available. Pfizer has said the vaccine appears 95% effective at preventing the disease.

Other developments today:

As college students prepare to go home for the holidays, some schools are quickly ramping up COVID-19 testing to try to keep infections from spreading further as the coronavirus surges across the U.S.

This summer’s huge motorcycle rally in Sturgis, S.D. led to dozens of coronavirus cases in neighboring Minnesota, a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds.

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