California, Southwest Face New Coronavirus Problems As US Economy Reopens

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SACRAMENTO, California (Reuters) – Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are on the rise in parts of California and the southwestern United States, prompting Arizona to reactivate its facilities emergency plan and California to place the counties where half of its population lives on a watch list.

FILE PHOTO: Maintenance worker cleans food preparation area while wearing face mask and gloves at Golfland Sunsplash water park after restrictions on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been relaxed in Mesa , Arizona, United States, May 15, 2020. REUTERS / Caitlin O «Hara

Rising cases, which could lead authorities to re-impose or tighten public health restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the virus, complicate efforts to reopen the US economy, which has been devastated by home housing rules .

New Jersey, one of the states hardest hit by the pandemic, with more than 12,000 dead, lifted its stay at home order on Tuesday.

Reuters analysis shows that more than 18 million of California’s 39 million people live in counties now on the watch list, including Los Angeles, Santa Clara and Fresno.

“Many of the cases that arise in hospitals are linked to home gatherings – birthday parties and funerals,” said Olivia Kasirye, director of public health for one of nine counties, Sacramento County. from the state watch list which may eventually compel them to cancel their reopening efforts.

Arizona was among the first states to reopen in mid-May, and cases have increased 115% since then, prompting a former state health chief to warn of a new stay order. home or field hospitals may be required.

According to a Reuters count, there were 1,983,825 cases of coronavirus in the United States and 111,747 deaths on Tuesday.

21 STATES SEE INCREASES

On Tuesday, 21 US states reported a weekly increase in new cases of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus. Arizona, Utah and New Mexico all posted increases of 40% or more for the week ended Sunday, compared to the previous seven days, according to a Reuters analysis.

Some of the new cases are linked to better tests. But many are the result of the relaxation of public health restrictions that allowed people to congregate and go to stores for shopping, said public health officials in two California counties.

Health officials believe other cases have been transmitted by people who do not follow social distancing recommendations. It is too early to see whether cases will also increase after protests swept the country after the May 25 death in police custody of George Floyd, an African-American man in Minneapolis, officials said.

The number of new infections in the first week of June increased by 3% in the United States, the first increase after five weeks of decline, according to analysis of data from the COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer-led effort to track the epidemic.

But pressure to reopen economies is strong, and states continued to lift coronavirus restrictions on Tuesday.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said indoor crowds such as those attending church services, synagogues and mosques can hold up to 50 people and that outdoor gatherings could reach 100 people.

In Washington State, site of one of the first COVID-19 epidemics, Governor Jay Inslee said that nannies, housekeepers and personal leaders can return to work and that people from different households can get into the same golf cart.

Researchers at the University of Washington on Monday estimated that 145,728 people could die from COVID-19 in the United States by August, increasing their forecast to more than 5,000 dead in a few days. The model changes as researchers take into account the mobility of people as home stay orders change.

For a graph on the follow-up of the new coronavirus in the United States:

here

For a tracker focused on the world with country by country:

here

Reports by Sharon Bernstein, Andrew Hay, Lisa Shumaker, Chris Canipe and Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Bill Tarrant and Peter Cooney

Our standards:Principles of the Thomson Reuters Trust.

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