Texas, Florida, California hit highs for COVID-19 infections in last two weeks
Three of the nation’s most populous states have all hit new highs for daily confirmed coronavirus cases in the past two weeks as states grapple with a resurgence of the virus.
Texas, Florida and California recorded record numbers of new cases, a concerning sign as the country continues to ease restrictions put in place to try to blunt the spread of COVID-19.
Texas now has more than 83,000 cases, Florida has nearly 71,000 cases and California has just shy of 142,000 cases.
As all 50 states move to relax restrictions and about two weeks after people ventured to Memorial Day celebrations, hot spots have emerged in states such as South Carolina and Missouri and cities such as Houston and Phoenix.
Week-over-week case counts are on the rise in half of all states, and only 16 states and the District of Columbia have seen their total case counts decline for two consecutive weeks.
However, in a sliver of good news, previous hot spots such as New York have reported consistent declines in new cases, potentially providing a road map for how to grapple with new outbreaks.
“Whenever you loosen mitigation, you can expect you’ll see new infections; I think it would be unrealistic to think that you won’t,” Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said on ABC News’s “Powerhouse Politics” podcast. “The critical issue is how do you prevent those new infections that you see from all of a sudden emerging into something that is a spike, and that’s the thing that we hope we will be able to contain.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday projected that the U.S. was on pace to reach 124,000 to 140,000 COVID-19 deaths by July 4 and that more fatalities could be expected in Arizona, Arkansas, Hawaii, North Carolina, Utah and Vermont in the next month versus the last month.
However, despite the rise in cases, most governors across the country have shown little appetite to halt their reopening process, in apparent recognition of the steep toll restrictions have taken on their states’ economies.
“Americans are on the move and they can’t be tied down and they can’t be restrained, unless they make a voluntary decision that this is right for me and my health or my family,” Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R), whose state has seen a spike in new cases, said.
Thus far, only the governors of Oregon and Utah are hitting pause on reopening their states after seeing a sudden rise in new cases.
“This is essentially a statewide ‘yellow light.’ It is time to press pause for one week before any further reopening,” Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) said in a statement Thursday evening. “I will work with doctors and public health experts to determine whether to lift this pause or extend it or make other adjustments.”
Updated: 11:49 a.m.
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