CDC warns of 'distressing trend' with increased COVID-19 cases across nearly 75% of the country

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The CDC says that COVID-19 cases are rising across 75% of the country, a disturbing trend as cold weather forces people indoors. (Image: Getty Images/Naeblys)

The spread of COVID-19 cases is on the rise in nearly 75% of the country as cases start to swell with the weathering turning cooler, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In a call with reporters on Wednesday, agency officials said the U.S. has seen nearly 60,000 cases a day on average and they are seeing cases increased in all parts of the country and the Midwest in particular.

"We are seeing a distressing trend here in the United States of COVID-19 cases increasing," said Jay Butler, CDC's deputy director of infectious diseases during an event at the agency's Atlanta headquarters.

Officials said that part of the increase could be the cold weather has driven more people to hold family gatherings indoors.

Butler also touched on the prospects for a COVID-19 vaccine. 

"Looking at the current trends and studies it is reasonable to expect we will have at least one, possibly two products available before the end of the calendar year," he said. 

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar added that the U.S. efforts to quickly create a vaccine to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, dubbed Operation Warp Speed, is now working to produce doses of all six vaccine candidates currently in clinical trials. 

He expects an approved vaccine to have enough doses available by the end of the year for the highest-risk citizens and available to all citizens by the end of March and April.