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Coronavirus updates: Birx warns of ‘troubling signs’ in Northeast amid ‘very different’ spread of COVID-19

“What we did in the spring is not going to work in the fall,” Birx said.

A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 1 million people worldwide.

Over 36.7 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The criteria for diagnosis — through clinical means or a lab test — has varied from country-to-country. Still, the actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some national governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their outbreaks.

The United States is the worst-affected country, with more than 7.6 million diagnosed cases and at least 213,570 deaths.

California has the most cases of any U.S. state, with more than 847,000 people diagnosed, according to Johns Hopkins data. California is followed by Texas and Florida, with over 811,000 cases and over 728,000 cases, respectively.

More than 190 vaccine candidates for COVID-19 are being tracked by the World Health Organization, at least 10 of which are in crucial phase three studies. Of those 10 potential vaccines in late-stage trials, there are currently five that will be available in the United States if approved.

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The Northeast Held the Virus in Check. Now Cases Are Inching Up Again.

Since the spring, case numbers in the Northeast have plummeted over all. The region, which runs from Maine to Pennsylvania, is averaging about 60 deaths per day, the lowest in the nation, according to the Covid Tracking Project. Some 2,800 people are in a hospital in the region, accounting for 8 percent of the hospitalizations nationwide. Those figures are tiny compared with the spring, when tens of thousands of people in the Northeast were hospitalized on any given day, and morgues were running out of body bags.

Still, the number of people in hospitals — a clear measure of those most seriously affected by an outbreak — is starting to trend slightly upward again in the Northeast. About 1,000 more people are in hospitals than last month, and daily reports of new cases have started climbing once again, leading to fears about what the winter might bring.

“Places like New York and other states in the Northeast could have more of the classic second wave phenomenon,” said Dr. Larry Chang, an infectious-disease expert at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who said he was bracing for more outbreaks this fall. “Pretty much everybody expects things to get somewhat worse.”

There may be a number of reasons for the upward trend in cases. The air turned suddenly chilly in the past few weeks, forcing people who had been lounging in sunny parks indoors. Students returned to schools and college campuses. And Northeasterners, who were among the first to take the virus seriously, may simply be growing weary after months of social distancing and wearing masks, even to walk outside.

“We’re all kind of exhausted with it,” said Danielle Ompad, an infectious-disease epidemiologist at New York University. “We have to acknowledge that this is not easy.”

The first glimpse of a resurgence has troubled public health experts and the region’s many coronavirus survivors alike.

“I’m still coming around from this,” said Laura Gross, 72, of Fort Lee, N.J., who contracted the virus in March and is still seeing doctors and struggling with significant fatigue. With cases on the rise, she fears what might happen to her next. Most people who get the virus develop antibodies, although it is unclear how long immunity lasts.

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