The northeast, once the virus’ biggest hotspot, has improved dramatically since its peak in April, when the region suffered more than any other region in the country. Still, cases are now increasing slightly in New Jersey, Rhode Island and Massachusetts as residents move more freely and congregate in groups more frequently.
Across the country, deaths from the coronavirus continue to rise. The country had an average of 500 per day at the beginning of July. Over the past week, it has averaged over 1,000 per day, many of which are concentrated in the solar belt states. California, Florida and Texas reported a total of 724 deaths on Wednesday, about half the national total.
Houston, the nation’s fourth largest city, has adapted to a new normal where the only thing certain is that nothing is certain. After cases and hospitalizations appeared to level off and even decline in recent days, Harris County on Friday broke a single-day record with 2,100 new cases.
“I think to some extent we saw a spike because people were tired of it,” said Alan Rosen, who heads the Harris County Constable’s office. “They were tired of hearing about it every day. They were tired of being locked in their homes and being away from people.
People there have faced lulls and spikes in a physical, emotional, fiscal and logistical crisis from an invisible enemy nearly three years after surviving Hurricane Harvey, one of the worst disasters in the world American history.
« It’s a roller coaster ride, ”said Rosen, who recovered after being infected with the virus in May. “It’s not like a hurricane going through and we know what to do. We know we need to clean up and rebuild and everyone is used to the schedule. But with that, there are so many unknowns.
Julie Bosman reported from Chicago, Manny Fernandez from Houston and Thomas Fuller from Alturas, California. Mitch Smith contributed reporting from Chicago.