Story at a glance
- A CNN report reveals 21 states have set record weekly averages of new cases.
- This uptick comes as cooler weather is forcing people indoors.
An analysis of COVID-19 data from Johns Hopkins University reveals that 21 states are recording a peak of weekly averages of new cases since the onset of the pandemic, CNN reports.
The states seeing record increases in new cases include Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Many of these states are centered in the Midwest and Southwestern regions of the U.S.
As of Thursday morning, the country is now averaging approximately 52,345 new daily cases, an increase of 16 percent from the previous week.
Many states are experiencing cooler temperatures, which will force daily activities indoors, potentially worsening viral transmission.
"This is a very ominous sign. I think we're in for a pretty bad fall and winter," Peter Hotez, professor and dean of tropical medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine, told reporters. “This is the time when we could be entering one of the worst periods of our epidemic and one of our worst periods in modern American public health.”
Additionally, 35 states are reporting increases in new COVID-19 cases greater than 10 percent when compared to the previous week.
Public health experts have recently voiced concern over the nation’s ability to suppress new coronavirus infections as influenza season approaches. The threat of dueling illnesses has the potential to overwhelm the health care apparatus similar to the beginning of the pandemic in the spring
To mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, fall and winter holiday traditions will likely be altered. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recently advised trick-or-treaters to stay home this Halloween, and infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci suggested limiting Thanksgiving gatherings.