Just as the US reported the highest number of daily Covid-19 infections in nearly two months, several experts offered grim outlooks if Americans don’t take the right precautions.
Johns Hopkins University reported a total of 57,420 new positive cases of coronavirus in the United States on Friday.
That is the most reported cases in a single day since August 14, when there were 64,601 new cases, the data show.
Friday’s surge of 57,420 cases marks the third consecutive day of 50,000+ reported cases in the US, Johns Hopkins says. The last time the US reported three consecutive days of more than 50,000 cases was also in mid-August.
Now Florida, which over the summer became the country’s hotspot, is “ripe for another large outbreak,” an infectious disease expert told CNN. Late last month, the state cleared the way for bars and restaurants to fully reopen and this week reported more than 6,000 cases over a two day-period.
“What they’ve done is opened up everything as if nothing had ever happened there, and you and I could be talking probably in eight to 10 weeks, and I will likely bet that Florida will be a house on fire,” Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told CNN Friday.
White House Coronavirus Task Force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx also cautioned Friday of “early suggestions” of alarming trends in the Northeast, urging residents to take action and help prevent the spread before the virus takes off again.
“The actions this time have to happen at the personal level, in our private homes, rather than just the public spaces,” she said.
In New Jersey, officials are monitoring several areas of concern after the governor said the state was beginning to see “sobering” numbers. And in New York, several cluster areas prompted Gov. Andrew Cuomo to issue strict restrictions in areas with large Orthodox Jewish communities, sparking protests and criticism from some local leaders.
As of October 8, the moving average of new cases per million people in the Northeast increased by 91% since September 8, according to data from Johns Hopkins. And across the US, 28 states — scattered mostly across the Midwest and Northeast — are reporting more new cases than the previous week, according to Johns Hopkins.
Only two states — Maine and Nebraska — are reporting a decline.
Alarming trends all over the country
Worrying trends are being recorded across the US. At least 22 states reported more than 1,000 new cases on Thursday. And the country’s daily case count average — now more than 46,000 — has surged by 12% since the previous week.
Hospitalizations are also on the rise. Especially worrisome are the statistics from Wisconsin, experts say, which in recent days has reported its highest daily case