The record spread brought the national total to more than 8.7 million infections and 226,723 deaths. And with this peak likely to be the worst yet, experts warn the impact of the virus is likely to worsen.
“We get up quickly. If we go back to Labor Day six or seven weeks ago, we were at about 35,000 cases a day, ”said Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University School of Public Health on Tuesday. “We are above 70,000 and we are heading upwards. I wouldn’t be surprised if we ended up with 100,000 ”. The United States added 73,240 new cases on Tuesday, and a record high of more than 83,000 cases was reported on Friday.
The increase in cases has been closely followed by an increase in deaths from coronaviruses.
This month, 11 states reported the highest day of new deaths since the start of the pandemic. And although researchers are rushing for a vaccine, health experts have warned the public must take the virus seriously in the meantime.
Imminent threats to hospital capacity
Forty states are reporting an increase in the daily average of cases of more than 10% from last week, and many are feeling the impact on their hospitalization rates.
Even with a hospital facility open on fair grounds in Wisconsin, the surge in cases threatens the capacity of health facilities across the state, Gov. Tony Evers said.
“There is no way to erase it, we are facing an urgent crisis and there is imminent risk to you and your family,” Governor Tony Evers said.
Ohio, one of the states to report a record of daily cases this month, also sees an increase in coronavirus hospitalizations – one that “is noticeably sharper, steeper than the increase we saw during the summer peak,” Gov. Mike DeWine said.
Intensive care admissions in the state have doubled since the start of the month, he said.
Colorado is also of concern over hospitalizations, as the number of new daily coronavirus cases hits an all-time high.
“If these trends continue, it would exceed the number of hospitalizations in May,” Governor Jared Polis said. “And the modeling suggests that if we don’t change what we’re doing, it will exceed all existing hospital capacity by the end of the year. It is going fast and we have to change the way we live. ”
In response to rising infections and positivity rates, the city and county of Denver has pushed back occupancy at restaurants, retailers and some other businesses from 50% to 25%, according to a city statement Tuesday.
“The reason we’re doing this is to send a bugle out to everyone to tell them that we have a responsibility to put our hands on this rock again and start pushing it up the hill,” he said. said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.
In Pennsylvania, hospitalizations are still “well below” the previous peak. But with a new single-day case record on Monday, the increases are “now comparable to what we saw in April 2020,” the State Department of Health said in a statement.
A vaccine will have equitable distribution, official says
Researchers have progressed at an unprecedented rate to bring a potential vaccine through development to distribution in order to bring the virus under control.
But even though 44 vaccines have been in clinical trials, it may not be clear which one works best – or whether they work at all – until they have been licensed and distributed to many. people, a team of experts said Tuesday.
“Protection against serious illness and death is difficult to assess in Phase 3 clinical trials due to the excessively large number of participants required,” said the experts, led by Dr. Susanne Hodgson of the Jenner Institute of the ‘University of Oxford, in a Lancet Infectious Diseases review.
This data can only come from “large phase 4 trials or epidemiological studies performed after widespread vaccine deployment,” the experts wrote.
Once a vaccine is approved, officials will work to distribute it quickly.
“We will be distributing vaccines, accordingly, to all of America simultaneously,” said Army General Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of the federal government’s coronavirus response, at an online event organized by conservative think tank Heritage Foundation.
“We will ensure that there is equitable distribution in accordance with this priority,” he added, and then states “will hold the actual final distribution and administration down to small arms”.
Until then, experts say social distancing and wearing masks are key to managing the spread of the virus. And former CDC director Dr Tom Frieden told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that except for a “small, misguided minority” Americans wear them.
“Today, data from the Centers for Disease Control shows that the proportion of people who report wearing masks has increased from 78% to 89%,” he said. “Most people understand. What we are missing is a coordinated federal response. “
CNN’s Amanda Watts, Shelby Lin Erdman, Lauren Mascarenhas, Devon Sayers and Amir Vera contributed to this report.