Record Spikes in New Coronavirus Cases Reported Across the US
Record Spikes in New Coronavirus Cases
The week hasn’t started with good news. There are record spikes in new coronavirus cases in various states across the American South and West and things seem to be getting a bit out of control after stay-at-home measures and economic and social restrictions have been lifted.
Arizona, Florida, California, South Carolina and Texas all reported surges in cases of COVID-19, mainly in new communities. These states were among the first and most relentless to lift lockdown measures and reopen.
The coronavirus crisis in the Golden State is far from being over as the officials confirmed that cases of COVID-19 reached 3,574, the highest total since the pandemic started. The previous highest point was on April 29, when 3,497 cases were reported in state hospitals.
There are also 1,163 confirmed COVID-19 cases in intensive care as of Saturday, the highest number since May 3, when there were 1,179 ICU patients.
South Carolina has ramped up testing from 5.7% on June 4 to 14.4% on June 17. This led to a record-high single-day increase in coronavirus cases of 978 confirmed last week, bringing the state’s total number of confirmed cases to 21,533.
The state’s chief epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell urged people to practice social distancing and wear masks. “There is no vaccine for COVID-19. There are only individual behaviors and actions we must all maintain that help stop its spread,” she pleaded. “This virus does not spread on its own. It’s spread around our state by infected people who carry it wherever they go – their work, the supermarket, the post office, a friend’s house.”
Record spikes have also been confirmed in Arizona, where various hospitals have almost neared their ICU capacity. Last week, Arizona authorities confirmed 2,519 new cases on Thursday, shattering the previous single-day high of 2,392 reported two days earlier.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced that testing and contact tracing will increase and urged residents to wear masks and continue practicing social distancing. “Looking at the last two weeks of data, there is a trend. And the trend is headed in the wrong direction and the actions we’re going to take are intended to change that direction and reverse this trend,” the governor said last Wednesday.
Texas was among the first states to ease restrictions and reopen businesses. The shelter-in-place order was lifted April 30 and restaurants, stores and malls reopened their doors to customers by May 1. Fast-forward to present times and Texas is facing the biggest single-day spike in new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, bringing the total number of cases to 99,851.
“We think we can also accurately say there has been an increase — especially beginning around the Memorial Day time period and going through a few weeks after that — an increase in people testing positive because they may not be practicing all these safe standards,” Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement.
The Sunshine State is not so sunny this week as the state’s confirmed cases of coronavirus have reached 85,926. According to Florida’s Department of Health, at least 3,061 people have died of Covid-19.
Restaurants, stores and other businesses in Florida were allowed to reopen on May 4, on the condition that they meet certain criteria. After the record highs reported last week, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis announced restrictions will not be implemented again: “We’re not shutting down. We’re going to go forward … We’re not rolling back. You have to have society function.”
What do you think? Should states impose strict restrictions again? Are people in your state wearing masks and practicing social distancing?