“We will easily reach six-digit numbers by number of cases,” Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Diseases Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told CNN on Friday night. “And deaths will rise sharply over the next three to four weeks, usually following new cases by about two to three weeks.”
Social gatherings and family events moving indoors to avoid colder weather are largely to blame for the high rate of spread, officials said over the weekend.
34 countries report an increase in cases
At least 35 countries have reported more new cases of Covid-19 in the past week than in the previous week, according to John Hopkins.
On Saturday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced an additional 1,994 cases of coronavirus – the highest amount in a single day in May.
“We are still in the midst of a pandemic and we need everyone to take this seriously. Wear a mask. Social distance,” Murphy tweeted.
New Jersey has had eight new deaths related to the virus, with a total of 14,492 deaths in the state.
“This virus hasn’t disappeared just because we’re tired of it,” Murphy said.
In Florida, health officials reported 4,471 additional cases and 77 deaths to new residents. This is the third day this month that the state has reported more than 4,000 new cases in one day, according to CNN. Florida had a total of 776,251 cases of Covid-19 and 16,417 residents died, the health department said. There are also 203 deaths of non-residents.
Pennsylvania reported 2,043 new cases Saturday.
“Daily increases are now comparable to what we saw in April 2020,” the state health department said in a statement. An additional 29 virus-related deaths were reported on Saturday.
Michigan with 3,338 new cases on Saturday marked its highest total number for a day during the pandemic, according to State Department of Health and Social Services spokesman Lynn Sutfin. The state also reported 35 new deaths.
Dr Johnny Haldun, Michigan’s chief medical officer and deputy health chief, said the data showed an “alarming increase” in new infections.
“If tariffs continue this way, we run the risk of overwhelming our hospitals and killing many more Michiganers,” Haldun said in a statement.
On Saturday, Illinois reported 6,161 new cases, the largest since the pandemic began. More than 4,000 new cases have been reported in the state in six of the last nine days, according to the health department. There are 63 new deaths.
Illinois Director of Public Health Dr. Ngozi Ezike makes an emotional appeal to residents about the importance of facial coverage.
“As we see the numbers increase in hospitals, people are bringing more beds, trying to prepare again for Kovid’s units. And this staff who went through all this pain to try to save as many people as possible, see the repetition of the story itself, “she said. “We don’t have a vaccine yet, but we have a mask and we ask people to use it and I don’t know what else we can say.”
And Colorado officials have issued a new order limiting gatherings to 10 people from no more than two households in response to climbing infections and hospitalizations.
“We need to keep meetings smaller and with people from fewer households – we ask everyone to ‘shrink their bubble’ to reduce the spread,” Colorado Department of Health and Environment Executive Director Jill Hunsser Ryan said in a statement news from friday.
“This is not a workout”
Despite worrying trends, health officials maintain basic public health measures that can help turn things around: masks, social distancing, crowd avoidance, and frequent hand washing.
“It sounds very simple, but we don’t do it uniformly, and that’s one of the reasons we’re seeing these jumps,” Dr Anthony Fauci said on Friday. “We can control them without stopping the country.”
“I think it would be a great idea for everyone to do it the same,” he said. “If people don’t wear masks, then maybe we should impose it,” he said.
A senior World Health Organization official on Friday also called on the country’s leaders to “take immediate action to prevent further unnecessary deaths, basic health services to collapse and schools to be closed again.”
“As I said in February and I repeat today, this is not a training session,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Gebreesus told a news conference.
Expert: The vaccine may not come this year
Although many experts and officials have worked to give reliable estimates of when Covid-19 will be available, this timetable remains uncertain.
The director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, said Friday that while he was “cautiously optimistic” about allowing the vaccine in the United States by the end of the year, he said “it may not happen and take longer.” .
But Collins added that it was good news that the United States had developed more than one vaccine candidate.
“If you bet everything on one vaccine, I would be much more worried,” he said.
And once the vaccine is approved, experts say it’s crucial enough for Americans to get it. If only half the country wants to be vaccinated, Collins warned, Covid-19 could remain for years.
“When I look at the attitudes that now exist for this vaccine, and who would be interested in taking it, it’s really disturbing,” Collins said at the National Press Club’s virtual event. “I spoke so optimistically about how likely it is that we will have a vaccine by the end of the year, but if only 50% of Americans are interested in getting it, we will never get to the point of immunity of the population where Covid-19 goes.
CNN’s anti spells, Alec Snyder, Melissa Alonso, Brad Parks, Holly Silverman, Ganesh Sethi, Shelby Lynn Erdman, Gisela Crespo, Naomi Thomas and Jacqueline Howard contributed to this report.