All eyes have been on the US election with the announcement of Joe Biden’s win against Donald Trump - but another historic moment for the country has been set in the form of record coronavirus cases.
There are fears that the deadly virus will spread further as thousands take to the streets in US cities and towns to celebrate and in some cases protest the election result.
The newly-elected 46th president will have his work cut out for him when he is sworn into office on January 20.
Biden and his vice president to-be Kamala Harris have already outlined a plan to tackle the pandemic.
In a seven-point plan, the new administration is vowing to “fix Trump’s testing-and-tracing fiasco”, ramp up production of PPE, protect the elderly and vulnerable, implement mask mandates and properly manufacture and distribute a vaccine for the virus.
So far, 236,073 Americans have died due to Covid. The country is leading the world in the number of infections and there are fears the virus will surge in the coming winter months.
In the 86 days left of Trump’s term, 100,000 more Americans will likely die from the virus if the nation doesn’t shift course, said Dr. Robert Murphy, executive director of the Institute for Global Health at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.
“Where we are is in an extremely dire place as a country,” said Dr Leana Wen, a public health expert at George Washington University.
“Every metric that we have is trending in the wrong direction.
“This is a virus that will continue to escalate at an accelerated speed and that is not going to stop on its own.”
Dozens of election workers exposed to virus
Election workers who risked their health to staff polling booths and ballot counting centres are now in self-quarantine, according to CNN.
While the exact number of positive tests among workers hasn’t been confirmed, news of individual cases have emerged in New York, Connecticut, Michigan and California.
In New York’s Duchess County a poll booth worker who worked on election day tested positive, with all voters at the site and other workers advised to monitor for symptoms.
In a Michigan ballot counting centre, one employee’s positive test has forced all workers who were in the same room to self-isolate.
Another 12 workers at a city clerk’s office in Connecticut are having to self-quarantine for two weeks after a worker tested positive to the virus.
A voting centre staffer in California who also contracted Covid has led to 16 workers having to self-quarantine.
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