Story at a glance
- Dozens of states are experiencing high new COVID-19 case counts, resulting in more hospitalizations.
- Many public health experts support mitigation efforts as colder weather forces people indoors.
The White House Coronavirus Task Force has reportedly warned of a “persistent and broad spread” of COVID-19 infections across the U.S. West, advocating stricter prevention efforts to help slow the spread of transmission, per Reuters.
“We are on a very difficult trajectory. We’re going in the wrong direction,” Anthony Fauci, the most prominent task force member, said.
Data reveal that cases are high and remaining high in states like Wisconsin, Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota, Utah, Iowa, Tennessee, Arkansas and Minnesota, among dozens of others. Many of these states are key battleground states that have potential to determine the outcome of the competitive election between incumbent President Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
Fauci confirmed that new cases are increasing in 47 states, along with hospitalizations.
Wisconsin, in particular, is on track to run out of intensive care unit beds.
“Every single positive increases the probability or likelihood of having another patient who is hospitalized,” Bill Melms, chief medical officer for Marshfield Clinic Health System, told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
On a national level, the two-week change in new cases is up by 41 percent, with fatalities increasing by 9 percent on average.
Roughly 1,016 new COVID-19 deaths and 81,457 new cases were reported on Oct. 28, per The New York Times.
“We continue to see unrelenting, broad community spread in the Midwest, Upper Midwest and West. This will require aggressive mitigation to control both the silent, asymptomatic spread and symptomatic spread,” one state report said.
A nationwide lockdown has still not been issued, and some states do not have a mandatory mask order, such as Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. Most of these states are experiencing surges in new cases.