It took less than eight months to go from the first reported coronavirus-related death in Wuhan, China, on January 9 to a global death toll of 1,001,800 on early Tuesday morning, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The US has been hit hard by the virus, with more than 7.1 million reported infections and 205,085 deaths.
And with recent spikes in cases, health experts warn things could soon get worse in the US.
Only 20 states are holding steady when it comes to the average of daily new cases compared to last week, while 23 are reporting more: Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Seven states show downward trends in new cases — Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Rhode Island, Texas and Virginia.
With fall and winter soon driving people indoors and bringing flu season with it, experts say Americans will need to be consistent with following recommended guidelines. Mask wearing, social distancing and avoiding large crowds will be key, experts say, along with authorities increasing testing as infections surge again.
The US currently ranks highest on the total number of reported coronavirus deaths worldwide and sixth per 100,000 people.
Johns Hopkins’ tally shows the US, Brazil, India and Mexico account for more than 50% of the deaths worldwide.
Some states fight spikes while others ease restrictions
As trends vary across the US, some local leaders are stepping back toward normal while others are clamping down on efforts to combat the virus’ spread.
Chicago bars, restaurants, gyms and personal services will be allowed to expand service on October 1, due to “sufficient progress in the fight against Covid-19,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Monday.
“Over the past six months, we have asked so much of our business community. But each time, our businesses have stepped up to the plate,” Lightfoot said in a press release Monday. “This next step in our reopening is good news for business owners as well as the communities they serve and the thousands of residents that work for them.”
And California, a state hit hard by the pandemic, is seeing coronavirus positivity rate, hospitalizations and new cases trending downward, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday — but he cautioned that numbers could pick back up if residents don’t remain vigilant.
Meanwhile, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state would be releasing guidance early this week to reopen “covid safe” homeless shelters, noting a rise in cases among homeless encampments. Cases are also rising at an “alarming” rate in parts of Brooklyn and Queens, the New York City Department of Health said.
Nearby, New Jersey is set to receive 2.6 million rapid coronavirus tests from the federal government to help fight spikes in cases.
Coronavirus and children
Children account for about 10% of coronavirus cases, but people should still pay attention to virus spread in that age group, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday.
“Children do get infected. And we’d better be careful about just dismissing infection in children,” Fauci told CNN’s Brian Stelter, adding, “It is unclear the degree to which they transmit” the virus.
Some studies suggest they don’t do it as “efficiently” as adults, said Fauci, who is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
“But it’s an evolving situation,” and “you have got to keep an open mind when it comes to an issue like what the role of children is in transmission.”
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a report Monday that said Covid-19 among adolescents ages 12 to 17 was almost double the cases in children ages 5 to 11.
The report included data on 277,285 laboratory-confirmed cases among school-age children in the US from March 1 to September 19. Among those cases, 37% were in children ages 5 to 11 and 63% were in adolescents.
The data might underestimate the true incidence of disease among school-age children, as testing was often prioritized for people with symptoms, and those without may not have been tested, the researchers noted.
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