Story at a glance
- July saw large swaths of new coronavirus cases, deaths and hospitalizations across the majority of states.
- This comes as states still work to carefully reopen while controlling the spread of the virus.
July was a brutal month for the U.S., as deaths related to the coronavirus rose to around 25,000 and cases in at least 18 states doubled, according to a tally conducted by Reuters.
The climbing numbers of deaths and cases deal a crushing blow to hopes of reopening the economy quickly and comes in the midst of a nationwide debate about if and how to open schools for in-person teaching this fall. Some regions that opened earlier this year started reversing or slowing their reopening plans even before July’s staggering report.
Nationwide, the U.S. reported approximately 1.8 million new cases in July, bringing the total number of infections to 4,495,612 — the highest in the world, per Johns Hopkins data. Reuters notes that this amounts to an increase of 66 percent, although most states still need to report Friday COVID-19 data.
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Leading the increase in cases was Florida, which saw an increase of more than 300,000 new cases during July. California and Texas also reported similar figures, each with about 250,000 new cases.
Other states that saw cases double during the past month include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.
States that saw slower rates of increase of new cases were Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York, each of whom only reported cases rising 7 percent or less.
Jumps in new cases have generally been seen in states since Memorial Day weekend, where revelers celebrated in close proximity without masks, which goes against public health recommendations. States have since been more aggressive at implementing mandatory mask policies and rolling back reopening measures to contain the virus spread.
July 16 in particular saw 77,000 new cases nationwide, setting a grim new global record. Over the course of the month, 33 states reported single-day record numbers of cases, and 19 established records for the number of daily deaths associated with COVID-19 infections. Other states saw troubling metrics, like hospitalization capacity, increase as well during the last month.
Given this data, the forthcoming months look increasingly murky. Schools are trying to figure out if and how to reopen for the 2020-21 academic year, while masks, social distancing and frequent hand washing are being touted as the most effective way to avoid transmitting the virus.
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