Some states see Covid-19 cases surging as restrictions are relaxed

CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains that one current model's prediction of 200,000 deaths in the US from Covid-19 by October may be an underprediction.

Posted: Jun 17, 2020 7:41 AM
Updated: Jun 17, 2020 7:41 AM

As states move forward with relaxing virus-compelled restrictions -- and as people grow weary of complying with them -- some areas are reporting a record number of new daily cases.

Arizona and Texas on Tuesday reported a record high in their daily numbers of new COVID-19 cases.

Florida on Monday had the highest number the state has yet seen of new and confirmed cases in a single day, after three record-breaking days late last week.

Ten states, including Florida, Oklahoma and Hawaii, have seen coronavirus numbers surge more than 50% in the past seven days compared to a week earlier, according to a CNN analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.

The other seven states are South Carolina, Alabama, Arizona, Oregon, West Virginia, Wyoming and Montana.

How states are trending:

  • 21 states are seeing upward trends in newly reported cases from one week to the next: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Oregon, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming.
  • 8 states are seeing steady numbers of newly reported cases: Connecticut, Indiana, Maine, Mississippi, Ohio, South Dakota, Utah and Washington.
  • 21 states are seeing a downward trend: Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Projections of deaths raised

A mix of early reopenings and disregard for personal safety measures have prompted researchers to increase their projections of Covid-19 deaths this summer.

One model cited by the White House now predicts 200,000 US deaths from coronavirus by October 1 -- an increase of 30,000 deaths since last week's projection by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

That would mean an average daily death toll of more than 840 Americans since February 6, the date of the first known US death linked to Covid-19.

"Increased mobility and premature relaxation of social distancing led to more infections, and we see it in Florida, Arizona, and other states," said Ali Mokdad, one of the creators of the model.

"This means more projected deaths."

But IHME projections have been low in the past, and others say the death toll could be higher.

"Sadly, I think this 200,000 number may be a under prediction based on what we're starting to see in several states across the country," CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta said.

More than 2 million Americans have been infected by the virus, and more than 116,125 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Why doctors are worried

"What we're seeing from footage -- especially from the states where we see these cases rising -- is that states are not opening gently. They're opening with lots of crowds," said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, chief of the infectious diseases division at Massachusetts General Hospital.

"They're opening with a lack of face masks ... And when that happens, you don't need too many infections for cases to soar."

That's because without social distancing this coronavirus can be twice as contagious as the flu. It's easy to infect others even without symptoms. And it has a lengthy incubation time, meaning those who eventually get sick can be contagious for days without knowing it.

Yes, testing is up. But so are hospitalizations

Some governors have attributed their rise in Covid-19 cases to increased testing.

It's true that testing has improved, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

But "when you start seeing more hospitalizations, that's a surefire sign that you're in a situation where you're going in the wrong direction," Fauci said.

On Monday, Texas reported a new record high of 2,326 hospitalizations due to coronavirus. And in the past week, at least 12 states saw higher rates of Covid-19 hospitalizations.

Some places reconsider plans to reopen

Texas' capital city, Austin, has extended stay-at-home orders through August 15, Mayor Steve Adler announced Monday, citing a spike in new coronavirus cases.

North Carolina's next steps are not yet clear. Gov. Roy Cooper told reporters Monday that he would announce early next week whether the state will still under phase three of the state's reopening later this month.

The rates of new cases in New Jersey are trending downward, but Gov. Phil Murphy said he wants the state to proceed cautiously.

"We're not just going to throw up our doors all at once as other states have done," Murphy said. "We've already paid a huge, huge almost unfathomable price."

Arkansas, on the other hand, still plans to move into phase two of its reopening despite recording its largest daily spike in new cases on Friday -- 731 new cases.

"I hope we don't repeat" that, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said.

But "we can't have life on hold for six months to a year until there's a vaccination ... We have to be able to carry on life and business."

Scientists are learning more about the virus

Even though this coronavirus has killed more than 430,000 people worldwide, it's still relatively new.

The National Institutes of Health launched a database to collect medical information on US coronavirus patients to learn more about the virus.

"This effort aims to transform clinical information into knowledge urgently needed to study COVID-19, including health risk factors that indicate better or worse outcomes of the disease and identify potentially effective treatments," the NIH said.

The Red Cross announced it will start testing all blood, plasma and platelet donations for coronavirus antibodies to help educate donors about whether they've already been exposed to the virus.

Why it's still safe to donate and receive donated blood

The test, which has been authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration, shows whether a person's immune system has produced antibodies to fight the virus.

And a condition called Multi-Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) could be a delayed response to a coronavirus infection, according to a team at the New York health system Northwell Health.

"We were pretty shocked as it was playing out," Dr. Charles Schleien said. "The whole syndrome came out of the blue. We had been comfortable for months (in the belief) that kids weren't affected all these months by coronavirus."

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 160454

Reported Deaths: 4118
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion25691791
Lake14023358
St. Joseph9399165
Elkhart9026137
Allen8424230
Hamilton6293114
Vanderburgh601161
Tippecanoe383615
Hendricks3337133
Porter332350
Monroe330338
Johnson3207129
Delaware303474
Clark300763
Vigo268740
Madison244996
LaPorte231760
Cass226922
Warrick199565
Kosciusko193727
Floyd183968
Howard167066
Bartholomew145358
Dubois142726
Marshall142726
Wayne135331
Grant129739
Henry129730
Boone126950
Hancock122344
Noble119135
Jackson116417
Dearborn100028
Morgan97440
Lawrence94037
Gibson91512
Daviess90234
Clinton88916
Shelby87231
LaGrange82115
Knox79510
Harrison78324
Putnam75616
Posey7556
DeKalb74511
Fayette73218
Jasper6435
Miami6425
Steuben6408
Montgomery60422
White59915
Greene55838
Scott53413
Decatur51739
Adams5107
Whitley4696
Ripley4668
Clay4567
Sullivan45214
Wells44211
Starke4328
Wabash4329
Huntington4215
Orange41725
Spencer4046
Washington3843
Franklin37925
Jennings37313
Randolph37210
Fulton3714
Jefferson3455
Pike34018
Perry33314
Carroll33213
Jay3256
Fountain3193
Tipton28023
Vermillion2601
Parke2464
Blackford2313
Newton23011
Rush2254
Owen2101
Martin2010
Crawford1601
Pulaski1602
Brown1463
Ohio1317
Union1120
Benton1090
Switzerland960
Warren891
Unassigned0236

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