- The coronavirus continues to spread rapidly across the U.S.
- On Wednesday, new coronavirus infections surpassed the 100,000 mark for the first time.
- In response, some states like Illinois and Massachusetts have started implementing tighter coronavirus restrictions.
Despite concerted efforts to combat the coronavirus, new COVID-19 infections in the U.S. recently surged past 100,000 yesterday for the first time since the pandemic began. And while previous surges were more or less confined to specific parts of the country, the current spike in new coronavirus infections is especially worrisome because it’s happening across the entire country.
“We’re seeing hotspots literally throughout the entire country,” Dr. Fauci said a few days ago. “We’re now averaging on a weekly basis, about 70,000 cases a day, where more than 40 States are up-ticking with increases in cases, which will ultimately lead to increases in hospitalizations, and then ultimately with increases in deaths.”
Fauci’s prediction is undeniably grim but the current coronavirus stats don’t leave much room for optimism. Coronavirus cases in the U.S. have shot up by more than 50% over the last two weeks. Even more worrisome is that coronavirus-related deaths are up more than 20% over the same time period. And with winter coming up around the corner, not to mention flu season as well, health experts are warning that the worst of the pandemic is yet to come.
A growing number of states, as a result, have already started implementing new lockdown and safety measures to help slow down the coronavirus infection rate.
Just recently, for example, Massachusetts instituted a new lockdown order which dictates that people must remain indoors between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. What’s more, the capacity allowances for both indoor and outdoor gatherings were reduced down to 10 and 25 people, respectively. Beyond that, businesses must close by 9:30 p.m. and people will have to wear masks when outside even if they’re not within six feet of anyone else.
About a week ago, and in response to a record-breaking number of new coronavirus infections, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced more stringent safety restrictions that prohibit indoor dining and bars from operating in any capacity.
Another state trying to get ahead of a new spike in coronavirus cases is New Jersey. With both coronavirus-related deaths and hospitalizations in the state on the rise, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy this week instituted tighter restrictions on outdoor dining. What’s more, Murphy said that shutting down the entire state is an option on the table if the situation continues to get worse over the next few weeks.
“This is real. People are dying,” Murphy said a few days back. “People are going to the hospital and we need everybody to ban together and push back on that pandemic fatigue and push the numbers back down.”
Other states that have implemented tighter restrictions, according to Eat This, Not That, include Michigan, parts of Texas, Maine, Connecticut, and Montana. Incidentally, the U.S. isn’t the only country seeing new lockdown measures. A number of countries in Europe, from Ireland to France, have re-instituted lockdown measures in response to growing COVID-19 infection rates.