As US Focuses on Elections, Covid-19 Pandemic Continues to Grow

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But the coronavirus has continued to spread, in some places at a higher rate than ever.

The United States has broken one record after another.

Patients flooded hospitals and thousands died.

And officials across the country have put in place more restrictions to bring the virus under control.

Here’s what happened this week in the country’s fight against Covid-19.

New cases have skyrocketed

In a pandemic full of grim milestones, the United States has reached another key marker.

On Wednesday, the United States recorded for the first time more than 100,000 new cases in a single day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The country broke that record a day later, registering 121,888 new cases of Covid-19 on Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins.

The United States broke the record again on Friday, reporting more than 126,000 new cases.

Over the past week, the United States added a record total of 689,538 new Covid-19 cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins. Saturday morning, over 9,7 millions cases have been reported in the United States.

“He’s everywhere,” Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said Thursday. “We cannot hide from it. We cannot escape it. ”

The records set this week were a stark reminder of the ongoing fall outbreak across the country, which experts say will be the worst yet.

And they came in the midst of days of increasing cases. The 12 days with the most single-day cases were in the past two weeks. And in the first six days of November, 25 states reported a record high.

An aerial view of vehicles lining up at a COVID-19 test site driving the Alliant Energy Center complex, as the coronavirus outbreak continues in Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin, November 5, 2020.

These states were Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island , Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.

A week of incredibly high one-day totals on Friday pushed the national seven-day average of new cases to 98 505, selon Johns Hopkins.

DeWine said Thursday the Ohio spread had “skyrocketed” due to weddings, funerals and social gatherings. The next day, the state reported the most new cases in a day since the start of the pandemic, 5,008.

Meanwhile, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly said her staff were working with community leaders to increase the use of masks, saying it would protect the elderly and keep businesses and schools open.

“We know how to mitigate the spread of the virus,” she said. “We know the masks work. ”

If most Americans wore masks, it could save more than 130,000 lives, National Institutes of Health director Dr. Francis Collins wrote in a blog post on Tuesday, calling it a “simple and selfless act. “.

Hospitals and healthcare workers have been strained

Four days in a row this week – Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday – more than 1,000 people have died across the country. Among them was a Missouri electoral judge supervisor who worked at a polling station on election day after testing positive and ignoring quarantine instructions for 14 days.

At least seven states have reported a record number of deaths this week, including Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.

At the end of the week, the total death toll stood at 236,073, with an average of 912 reported deaths per day. The last time this metric was above 900 was August 31, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

This number will continue to climb. The CDC’s overall forecast, which offers projections for a few weeks, projects up to 266,000 coronavirus deaths by November 28.

More state officials announce restrictions as US surpasses 100,000 new Covid-19 infections for second day in a row

But, according to Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, more deaths often follow an increase in hospitalizations.

And this week, 16 states reported record hospitalizations, according to the Covid Tracking Project, which said there were more than 54,000 hospitalizations Friday alone, an increase of 17% over last week. Twenty-two states have reported record hospitalizations since the start of the month.

“New hospitalizations are accelerating,” CTP said Thursday. “At this rate, we could see a record number of hospitalizations next week.”

El Paso, Texas has repeatedly broken its record for hospitalizations throughout the week. “It’s just a new high every day,” Ryan Mielke, a spokesperson for El Paso University Medical Center, told CNN on Monday.

A fourth mobile mortuary was dispatched to the area this week. Air Force teams were dispatched to help at three hospitals on Friday following a request from FEMA, the U.S. Army North said in a press release.

New Mexico officials on Thursday warned they feared running out of hospital beds after a 95% increase in hospitalizations from two weeks ago and 260% in the past month, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said . At that time, 82% of state hospital beds and 75% of intensive care beds were occupied.

Members of medical staff treat a patient with Covid-19 in the Covid-19 intensive care unit at United Memorial Medical Center on October 31, 2020 in Houston, Texas.

An increase in hospitalizations across the country means there are no more staff to bring in, North Dakota officials said Thursday. Governor Doug Burgum called it “the worst day yet” for his state.

The Executive Director of the Department of Social Services, Chris Jones, highlighted the pressure on the health system and workers.

“For those of you who don’t believe, go talk to them. Ask them what it is. Ask them what impact this has on their families. Ask them what impact it has on them when they treat patients with Covid and other citizens seeking care, ”Jones said.

Similar fears were present in Kentucky, where public health commissioner Dr Steven Stack said on Wednesday there was concern about a shortage of healthcare workers.

Kansas City, Kansas officials and seven hospital systems ended the week by sounding their own alarms, warning of a staffing shortage that will not go away.

“If widespread community transmission continues to increase, we will be overwhelmed,” said Dr. Steven Stites, chief medical officer of the University of Kansas Health System. “This is the inescapable conclusion we are faced with. “

Officials were forced to put more restrictions in place

In states and communities across the United States, officials have continued to fight the pandemic. And in some cases, that meant making the difficult decision to reinstate or expand the restrictions on Covid-19.

No one wants more stops, but Covid-19 continues to rage.  Some states and cities have adopted new rules

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced a new stay-at-home notice from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Monday, when non-essential businesses will be closed. He also signed an updated face protection order requiring anyone over 5 to wear a mask in public. These measures entered into force on Friday.

Likewise, a new stay-at-home notice will be put in place from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday in Rhode Island, where Governor Gina Raimondo has requested “voluntary compliance.”

Gatherings like house parties have been the main source of the spread of the virus, she said. And if they don’t stop, she said, “I’ll be back in two weeks with a stop order. ”

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock on Friday announced a 10 p.m. curfew for residents and non-essential businesses starting Sunday.

In El Paso, efforts by local authorities to institute restrictions resulted in a real confrontation with state authorities. County Judge Ricardo Samaniego – who works as a county-level administrator in El Paso County – ordered a two-week shutdown of non-essential services last week, warning the community will see otherwise “rates of unprecedented mortality ”.

State officials said the order went against state guidelines, and Texas Governor Greg Abbott told CNN Samaniego the “illegally” shutdowns of businesses. A judge ruled in favor of Samaniego on Friday, saying its shutdown was valid, according to CNN affiliates KDBC and KVIA.

El Paso faces its worst Covid-19 outbreak as it tries to vote on election day

New Jersey has updated a quarantine travel advisory. Anyone arriving in New Jersey from 43 states and territories must be quarantined for 14 days. Gov. Phil Murphy said he would not rule out another stop, adding: “We have to leave everything on the table. ”

Governor Kate Brown of Oregon on Friday called on several counties to take a two-week “social break”, limiting indoor social gatherings to single households or to a maximum of six people. They will also be required to respect capacity limits in restaurants, gymnasiums and museums.

“I don’t want to have to take any further steps to stop the spread of Covid-19 because I know it will have a devastating impact on our businesses, big and small,” she said. “But I absolutely will. “

CNN’s Haley Brink, Amanda Watts and Holly Yan contributed to this report.



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