The situation in the United States is deteriorating and the country is facing a dramatic increase in new COVID-19 infections, particularly in the southern states.
In the United States alone, over 36,000 new cases of Covid-19 were recorded on Wednesday. This is almost a record, as it is the second most important day in these statistics after 24 April, when 36,400 cases were registered. An outbreak that seems to mark a new wave of the epidemic, since the number of new contaminations had decreased at the beginning of the month. This time COVID-19 continues to develop in the southern states of the country while so far somewhat sparing the northeast. In almost half of the country’s states, the contamination trend is increasing, especially in the more populous states of the country: Florida, Texas, and California.
However, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, the country with it’s 330 million inhabitants already has the highest number of infections and deaths. This Thursday, June 25, nearly one in four proven cases of COVID-19 worldwide is in the United States. The same applies to the number of deaths: Officially, there are 482,923 deaths on different continents, 121,979 of them in the United States.
Southern states in turmoil
Almost half of the states are experiencing an upsurge of new cases, especially in the south of the country. According to AFP, this new wave is accompanied by an increase in hospitalizations and the appearance of younger patients, particularly in Florida. In this state, a peak was reached on June 20 with over 4,000 new cases discovered in a single day. If the daily number of infections has decreased, it has remained at an unmatched level since mid-June: this Wednesday it reached 3,286 positive cases.
California, Texas, and Arizona
California is also unable to break the upward curve in the number of new cases that began in late March. Since mid-June, the number of cases detected daily in the most populous state in the country has accelerated, reaching a peak on Wednesday with 6,712 new cases. Texas is following the same trend and also set a new record last Wednesday with 5,142 new cases. Arizona has also seen a sharp acceleration in the number of infections since the beginning of June, reaching a record high on Wednesday with 3,779 confirmed cases in a single day.
This increase has prompted some states to change their health policies, notably Florida, where the governor, has threatened to revoke licenses to sell alcohol to bars and restaurants that do not respect the rules of physical distancing. In Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott is encouraging people to wear masks without making it compulsory. However, If the spread of the virus is not contained in the next two weeks there is a high chance of business closure to avoid that the epidemic spirals out of control. Even the Governor of California, who made the wearing of masks mandatory throughout the state, may also reconsider adopting new measures if the situation continues to deteriorate.
To date, the deaths are concentrated mainly in the northeast corridor from Boston to Washington DC, including New York – the large urban areas of the Great Lakes (Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland), two of the three largest cities of Florida (Miami), Tampa), the area around New Orleans, Louisiana, the large cities of Texas (Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin), but also the southwestern area – Southern California, Southern Nevada, Western New Mexico, Northern, and Southern Arizona). Epidemiologist Rebecca Fischer, interviewed by AFP, believes that the peak of the infections is still a long way off. The measures to limit the spread of the virus should “ideally” remain in force “as long as possible”, she explains.