Health officials share concerns of another COVID-19 surge due to Labor Day travel, gatherings
Health officials are concerned about Labor Day gatherings and travel. The U.S. is inching towards 650,000 COVID-19 related deaths and some hotspots are seeing a record number of hospitalizations.
While millions of Americans are celebrating this Labor Day weekend, there are increased concerns that travel and large gatherings could spark another COVID-19 surge. Hospitals in some states are already overwhelmed with patients.
"We're setting case records, we have a record number of Kentuckians in the hospital battling COVID in the ICU battling for their lives," Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear says.
More than 99,000 people in the U.S. are hospitalized with COVID-19, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services.
"Some of it has to do with the fact that there's been tremendous disinformation campaigns, and people are believing things that are simply not true," Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says.
Health officials are keeping close watch on another variant called Mu.
"Right now, it is not an immediate threat," says Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Federal regulators are considering the possibility of authorizing a booster shot within the next few weeks.
Dr. Fauci told CBS that the White House would probably roll out at least part of its booster plan the week of Sept. 20 but the vaccine plan will have to get approval from the FDA and signoff from the CDC first.
"The good news about our vaccines - if you get the level of antibody high enough, which boosters actually do, then you can feel pretty confident you'll be protected against virtually any variant," Dr. Fauci adds.
Just over 62% of the U.S. population has had at least one COVID-19 shot while 53% of the country is fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.