US Coronavirus cases hit 11 million on Sunday, topping 1 million new cases the part week alone. Since November 5, the country is registering upwards of 100,000 cases per day. Colorado, Maryland, Montana, and New Hampshire all registered new highs. Surprisingly, Georgia is the only state with a decrease in numbers.
Reuters reported that the US coronavirus cases are picking up fast. It only took 8 days for cases to reach eleven million cases from ten million. The previous record stood at 10 days, which is what took the virus to climb from nine to ten million. From eight million cases to nine million, America took sixteen days.
The US’s latest 7-day average reports 144,000 new infections and 1,120 daily deaths. At present, the country holds the highest infection rates in the entire world. The country’s two largest states, Texas and California, accounts for 20% of the total. The gap is closing with the other states, though. The American Midwest is the hardest hit right now, with the top five worst-affected states. These are Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Concerned with the growing spread, local state governments began imposing their own measures. North Dakota became the 34th state that now makes it mandatory to wear face masks in public. Michigan announced new orders Sunday to partially shut down public activities. These include bars, restaurants, and schools. Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a three-week order that suspended low-level sports activities. She also mandated mask-wearing for all gatherings. Gathering can only accommodate less than 50 people indoors and 250 outdoors. Whitmer’s order also restricted open venues to accommodate only 25% of capacity.
In Washington, Governor Jay Inslee closed all indoor dining facilities until December 14. All in-store retail activities will observe a 25% capacity. Also, all fitness facilities and gyms will close down. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a stay-at-home order for 30 days beginning today. Mount Vernon, New York, also announced a stay-at-home advisory.
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Limited Capacity but Better Chances
Health advisers warn states that local healthcare systems are nearing their tipping points. Hospitalization rates reached 69,000 over the weekend. Deaths are still high at 1,000 per week, but this is less than half of April numbers of 2,200. While the numbers remain high, patient hospital stays are getting shorter.
Colorado Governor Jared Polis hopes to increase his state’s hospital bed capacity by 50%. He requested centers to consider converting medical beds to ICU ones if necessary.
Expectedly, state leaders show reluctance in ordering lockdowns to isolate cases. While effective in flattening the curve, the effects on the local economy are brutal. In some cases, economic recovery proved more difficult than controlling the outbreak.
Besides, states imposed lockdowns earlier because we knew little about the disease. Now, widespread shutdowns may no longer apply. Dr. Celine Gounder, an epidemiologist at NYU, said that “we’re not going to have to be quite so draconian in our measures.” Health officials can use a targeted approach when applying interventions. She said the solution should be more a dimmer switch than an on-off version. Dr. Gounder is a member of the COVID-19 transition team activated recently.
With the holidays approaching, disease modelers see a difficult season ahead. With the colder weather, people huddling indoors are potential virus targets. Many areas are imposing limits on how many can attend Thanksgiving dinner. New York State and Massachusetts placed a limit on private gatherings to 10 members. North Carolina reduced its limit from 25 people to 10 as well. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot also capped meetings and social events to 10 persons. Thanksgiving, especially for large families, is becoming a dilemma for planners. Given the 10-person limit, which family members will get invites versus which ones won’t?
Not everybody is taking these measures at face value. NYC Councilman Joe Borelli of Staten Island feels the edict is too much. He said: “We’re to the point now where we’re just restricting people’s lives.” Borelli intends to continue with its family tradition of more than 10 people. He does feel people should remain aware of the pandemic. Borelli advises wearing masks and observing social distancing even when indoors.
Watch this as Sunday TODAY reports 13 States Set Single-Day COVID-19 Records over the weekend:
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Will the specter of rising US coronavirus cases disrupt your plans for the coming holidays? Do you agree with these measures, especially the one imposing 10 person limits on Thanksgiving? Let us know what you think by sharing your thoughts below.