Health officials fear holiday coronavirus surge

The U.S. passed 19 million confirmed cases as state leaders weigh the balance between livelihoods and lives.
2:48 | 12/28/20

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Transcript for Health officials fear holiday coronavirus surge
Mounting concerns, a spike in holiday travel may accelerate another surge in the new year. December is now the deadliest month of the pandemic -- more than 63,000 covid-19 fatalities with the total U.S. Lives lost closing in now on 333,000. Tonight, new restrictions to prevent that danger variant of the virus found in the uk, despite the reality that it's likely already here. Here's ABC's Trevor Ault. Reporter: Tonight, millions of holiday tra have health als fearing an impending coronavirus surge from what's already been the deadliest month on record. We're really at a very critical point. As we get into the next few weeks, it might actually get worse. Reporter: That concern stemming from Christmas gatherings and coming new year's parties. This popular Beverly hills restaurant allegedly sneaking secret invites to customers for a discreet indoor and illegal new year's eve dinner. The restaurant could not be reached for comment, but the public health department called it a serious violation. As of right now Los Angeles county is arguably the nation's pandemic epicenter. We have, on a, a person dyw, every 10, inutesin L.A. County. That's a preventable tragedy. Reporter: Other areas trying to curb the spread with new restrictions. This weekend Massachusetts limiting restaurants, retail, and recreation sites to 25% capacity. We are all just trying to stay alive, and 25% is better than zero. Reporter: State leaders continuing to weigbalance between livelihoods and lives as the U.S. Roars past 19 million confirmed infections. The virus has now killed 1 out of every 1,000 Americans. S watchiver us. She is with us every step of the way. Reporter: In Texas the caballero family enduring the holidays having lost four family members to covid. Their mother Sara, a singer, would have been 68 on Christmas. I can't make myself listen to her voice yet. It's just surreal. Reporter: And now amplifying concerns a new variant of the virus first discovered in the United Kingdom. While not believed to be more deadly or resistant to the vaccines, it is possibly more contagious. The U.S. Is now requiring incoming travelers from the U.K. To test negative before entering the country. If that variant, which I do suspect is probably here in the U.S. Already, really takes off, it's a lot more contagious. We're going to see a lot more infections, and I'm worried about what's going to happen to our hospitals. Reporter: Linsey, this new variant has already been detect in the at least 1 countries, many in Europe, but also in North America. In Canada, a couple near Toronto contracted this strain despite having no known travelhistory. Many health officials believe

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