With 33 states reporting a rise in new Covid-19 cases and a nationwide uptick in hospitalizations, local officials worry this could be the beginning of the coming surge experts have warned about.
In Colorado, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said Covid-19 cases are rising at a “concerning rate,” while the city’s seven-day average daily case rates are as “high right now as they were at the height of the pandemic back in May.”
The seven-day average of hospitalizations also rose about 37% in a little more than a week, he said during a Monday news conference, and warned residents could soon see tighter Covid-19 restrictions if the city’s numbers continue to trend in the wrong direction.
Officials across the country warn of similar patterns. White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx last week warned the Northeast was seeing “early surggestions” of alarming trends. Kentucky’s governor said recently the state is seeing a third major escalation in infections. In Wisconsin, a field hospital is opening this week in response to a surge of Covid-19 patients — days after the state reported record-high numbers of Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and daily deaths.
The US is now averaging more than 49,000 new infections daily — up 14% from the previous week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. And last week, the nation recorded more than 50,000 new cases for at least four days in a row. The last time that happened was in early August.
“I think we’re facing a whole lot of trouble,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNBC on Monday. “We’ve got to turn this around.”
That doesn’t have to mean another lockdown, the infectious disease expert has previously said. Instead, it means more people heeding to safety guidelines like wearing masks and social distancing.
Otherwise, the US could be in for a devastating winter. Researchers from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation project more than 135,000 Americans could die within the next three months.
Healthcare professionals ‘deeply afraid’
Hospitalizations nationwide are also on the rise. At least 10 states have recorded record-high hospitalization