Covid-19 cases are picking up again in the United States as more states have eased restrictions to slow the spread of the killer virus, NBC News numbers showed on Monday.
As of Friday, the US recorded 55,759 cases – the largest number of single days in a month. The worrying development comes from the fact that the death toll from the virus is approaching one million worldwide and the US continues to cause more than a fifth of those deaths.
“We’re not in a good place,” warned Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s foremost infectious disease expert, on ABC̵
“There are certainly parts of the country that are doing well,” added Fauci. “But… there are states that are starting to see increases in hospital admissions in some cases, and in some states they are even beginning to increase. I hope not, but there is a very good chance that the death toll will increase. “
And when the weather gets colder, more and more people go inside, which is where the risk of infection increases significantly, Fauci said.
“You don’t want to be in that position when the weather turns cold,” said Fauci. “So we really need to step up the public health action that we talk about all the time.”
The US has an average of 40,000 new cases a day “unacceptably high,” said Fauci.
“We have to get it down,” he said. “I would like to see 10,000 or less.”
Forty states and territories have seen spikes in the past two weeks from Saturday, just days after the US filed its 7 millionth confirmed coronavirus case.
Wyoming was the country’s new hot spot, with a 128 percent increase in new cases, followed by Utah (111 percent), Wisconsin (104 percent), and Colorado (97 percent).
In Wisconsin, state health officials on Saturday reported the largest daily number of infections since the pandemic began, with 2,533 confirmed new Covid-19 cases.
The new number came just days after Governor Tony Evers, a Democrat, declared a new public health emergency over objections from local Republicans wanting to relax safeguards.
“We are facing a new and dangerous phase of the Covid-19 pandemic here in Wisconsin,” Evers said in his order. “We are seeing an alarming increase in cases in our state, especially on campus. We need people who take this seriously, and young people in particular – please stay home as often as you can, don’t go to bars and wear a mask when you go out. We need your help to stop this virus from spreading and we must all do this together. “
Fauci said he was particularly concerned about Florida, where Governor Ron DeSantis on Friday announced the reopening of all bars and restaurants – without restrictions – even though the state continues to report thousands of new cases a day, although that number has fallen significantly since July.
The World Health Organization advises governments to maintain a positive test rate of 5 percent or less for 14 days before reopening. According to the Coronavirus Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University, the rate in Florida is currently 10.62 percent.
In contrast, the positivity rate in New York – a state hardest hit in the early days of the pandemic and continues to lead the nation with 33,971 deaths in Covid-19 – was just over 1 percent on Monday, according to Andrew Cuomo, according to Gov.
However, this represented a small but significant increase in the past few days and was another worrying sign that the virus was not completely under control in New York.
In the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, the city’s health department reported that the coronavirus was spreading at an “alarming rate”, mostly in neighborhoods largely populated by Hasidic Jews, some of whom were resistant to social distancing and masking.
Fauci’s dire warnings of the coronavirus crisis have repeatedly upset President Donald Trump, who privately told journalist Bob Woodward in February that Covid-19 was “deadly stuff” but has since repeatedly downplayed the dangers of a virus that has killed 205,940 people People in the US as of Monday showed the latest numbers.
Trump, who has questioned the need to wear masks and social distancing, and rarely does so himself in public, has also been accused of providing the American public with false information received from political officials who suspect him leading medical experts like Fauci share.
One of Trump’s most trusted Covid-19 advisors is Dr. Scott Atlas, who was appointed to the White House coronavirus task force in August despite having no experience with public health or infectious diseases.
“Everything he says is wrong,” said Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the embattled Federal Disease Control and Prevention Centers, told Atlas on a phone call made publicly through a commercial airline by an NBC news reporter.
In other coronavirus developments:
- Trump announced a plan to distribute 150 million Abbott Laboratories rapid Covid-19 test kits “in the coming weeks, very, very soon.” “This will be more than double the number of tests that have already been carried out,” stressed the President. The size of a credit card doesn’t require any special computer equipment and results are delivered in about 15 minutes. The disadvantage is that they are less accurate than other testing methods, the Associated Press reported. Trump has also repeatedly claimed – with no evidence – that a vaccine would be delivered before election day.
While the elderly and the frail make up most of the new cases and deaths, “the incidence of Covid-19 in the United States is highest among young adults ages 20-29, who accounted for more than 20 percent of all confirmed cases from June to August Cases, ”reported NBC News, citing the latest CDC numbers. Adults aged 30 to 39 years made up the second largest group of cases. “We are seeing a really increasing incidence of Covid-19 in young people and this is partly due to the summer activity and obviously we are all very concerned about it when they return to colleges,” said Dr. Scott Solomon, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, told NBC News. While most young people don’t end up in the hospital, those who are at “really high risk for these adverse effects,” Solomon said. “It’s not trivial.”
According to a new CDC report, teenagers are twice as likely to be diagnosed with Covid-19 as younger children. In 277,285 infections in children of school age between March 1 and mid-September, it found that 63 percent were children over 12 years of age. Why? It is unclear. “Parents may have more control over younger children, while teenagers are more likely to mix socially and increase the risk of spreading,” NBC News reported. What is clear is that Black and Hispanic children who catch Covid-19, especially those with underlying medical conditions, are prone to get sick. Meanwhile, the total number of pediatric Covid-19 cases in the US has risen to over 600,000, according to the American Association of Pediatrics, which was also released on Monday.
Companies affected by Covid-19 infections could soon be brought to their knees again – this time with billions in lawsuits from workers who discovered the flaw at work and infected relatives. The daughter of an Illinois woman named Esperanza Ugalde has filed the first of a spate of deaths that may have been taken home. Ugalde’s daughter claims she was infected by her husband Ricardo, who contracted the disease while working at the Aurora Packing Co. meat processing facility. Ricardo Ugalde worked “shoulder to shoulder” on the company’s processing line in April, and the company failed to warn employees or take any action to prevent infection. Up to 9 percent of US coronavirus deaths are believed to be due to “take home infections” and could cost businesses up to $ 21 billion if the US death toll hits 300,000, Reuters reported.
- While the US awaits the dreaded second wave of Covid-19, the top provincial leader in Ontario said the second round of the pandemic in Canada is already sweeping their province. “We know this wave will be more complicated and complex,” said Premier Doug Ford. “It will be worse than the first wave we faced earlier this year, but what we don’t know yet is how bad it is second wave will be. ” Ontario recorded 700 new cases of Covid-19 on Monday. This is a small number compared to daily totals in U.S. states like Florida or Texas, but it’s the largest increase in a day seen in Ontario, Canada, with a population of 37.6 million (slightly less than California ) and one of the best healthcare systems in the world has recorded 156,502 cases of Covid-19 and 9,321 deaths since the pandemic began. That’s roughly the same number of cases that Alabama has reported and slightly fewer deaths than were recorded in Massachusetts, according to NBC News.
Nigel Chiwaya and Joe Murphy contributed.