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As cases pile up, hospitals seek help

Here’s what’s happening Wednesday with the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.:

THREE THINGS TO KNOW TODAY

— With hospitalizations hitting new peaks every day, medical providers are desperately trying to add beds and find nurses and doctors. Governors are trying to lure nurses out of retirement and convince college students to work in hospitals for academic credit.

— In a major milestone, Britain authorized the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech, and could begin dispensing shots this week.

— Health officials are already issuing guidance for the upcoming holidays, and their advice is clear: Stay home or get tested before and after traveling if they decide to leave town.

THE NUMBERS: The number of people hospitalized with the virus in the U.S. is approaching 100,000, more than doubling from one month earlier. The nation is averaging more than 160,000 cases and 1,500 deaths per day.

QUOTABLE: “We cannot get this pandemic under control if we do not address head-on the issues of inequity in our country. There is no other way.” — Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, a pandemic adviser to President-elect Joe Biden.

ICYMI: California has been going deeper into lockdown as its case counts and hospitalizations soar, but some governments are pushing back. Pasadena has kept outdoor dining open despite the restrictions.

ON THE HORIZON: Key dates for the vaccine are quickly approaching. States must submit requests for doses of the Pfizer vaccine this week. The Food and Drug Administration has a critical meeting next Thursday to authorize emergency use.

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