Virus Surges Across U.S., Throwing Reopenings Into Disarray
Newly diagnosed cases of Covid-19 and other indicators of the pandemic’s spread soared in hot spots across the U.S., driving city and state officials to consider slowing or reversing reopening plans.
Cases are surging in Texas, Florida, Arizona and in California, which on Tuesday broke its record for new cases for the fourth day in the past week. Even in New Jersey, where numbers have been falling, Governor Phil Murphy warned that the transmission rate is “beginning to creep up.”
Coronavirus cases in the U.S. increased by 35,695 from the same time Monday to 2.33 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The 1.6% gain was higher than the average daily increase of 1.3% the past seven days. Deaths rose 0.7% to 120,913.
California reported 5,019 new cases, its biggest daily jump, for a total of more than 183,000, according to state data. The state also hit a record 3,700 hospitalizations.
Arizona also broke its daily case record, adding nearly 3,600, according to tallies released Tuesday, bringing the total to 58,179. The state also reported 42 deaths, raising the toll to 1,384.
In Florida, local leaders hurried to react to daunting statistics. Palm Beach County -- where President Donald Trump makes his official residence -- became the latest jurisdiction to mandate masks to fend off the surge, with county commissioners voting unanimously to approve the measure Tuesday.
The state’s 103,506 cases were up 3.3% from a day earlier, compared with an average 3.8% in the previous seven days. Seen on a rolling seven-day basis, Florida’s new cases reached 23,397, the highest ever. Deaths reached 3,237, an increase of 2%, the most on a percentage basis since June 5.
Cumulative hospitalizations of Floridians rose by 199, or 1.5%, to 13,318. On a rolling seven day-basis, they reached 1,112, the highest level since May 25. The new rate of people testing positive for the first time climbed to 10.9% for Monday, from 7.7% on Sunday.
Texas recorded more than 5,000 new cases in the past 24 hours, a record daily toll, Governor Greg Abbott said during an interview with KTBX television on Tuesday. Despite the surge, the Republican leader of the second-most-populous state said that he has no intention of reimposing an economic lockdown at this time, and that schools will reopen as planned in late summer.
The state health department reported 5,489 new cases, bringing the total to 120,370. That represented a 4.8% increase, well in excess of the 3.7% seven-day average. Hospitalizations, meanwhile, surged more than 10% to 4,092. The 381 new admissions were the biggest daily increase since the pandemic emerged.
In Harris County -- home to Houston and the nation’s third-most-populous county -- intensive-case capacity will be exhausted in 11 days, based on the two-week average expansion rates. Surge beds will be full in 38 days, according to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s office.
There are 1,488 Covid-19 patients in ICU beds across the county, leaving only 134 intensive-case beds available and another 326 surge beds in reserve.
Covid-19 transmission is also ticking up in New Jersey, Murphy said Tuesday, just as the state begins to open after months on lockdown.
The transmission rate -- which measures how many people a carrier infects -- was at .75 on June 18 and has now hit .81, state data show. Murphy said intensive-care cases and ventilator use were also on the rise.
The increases were for a single day, he said, but we “cannot have a one-day increase turn into a trend.”
©2020 Bloomberg L.P.