- The U.S. recorded more than 121,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday.
- According to Dr. Fauci, coronavirus hotspots are springing up across all corners of the country.
- In response, two states recently implemented more stringent mask-wearing rules which now require people to wear masks in public even when socially distanced.
The current state of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. is bad and only getting worse. Just yesterday, the U.S. reported more than 121,000 new coronavirus cases, a figure which easily tops the previous record of 107,000 which was set earlier in the week. Over the last two weeks, the coronavirus infection rate in the U.S. has skyrocketed by 54% while the death rate has increased by 8%. Cumulatively, the U.S. has seen upwards of 9.6 million coronavirus cases and more than 235,00 deaths.
Looking ahead, many health experts are anticipating things to get worse before they get better due to colder weather settling in across the country. More specifically, colder weather will drive people inside and, as many studies have shown, indoor gatherings are disproportionately responsible for coronavirus infections. When Dr. Fauci back in August listed out eight activities people should avoid, indoor gatherings were at the top of the list as it’s considered riskier than going to bars and restaurants.
What’s more, it’s been shown that coronavirus droplets tend to linger in the air for longer periods of time in colder and dry-air environments. This naturally makes it a lot easier for people to come into contact with the virus and get infected.
In light of the above, many states have started taking a pro-active approach to help combat the coronavirus and prevent massive outbreaks from occurring. Two states in particular — Maine and Massachusetts — recently implemented more expansive mask-wearing guidelines that now mandate people wear masks at all times when in public. While previous mask-wearing guidelines encouraged people to wear masks in public when social distancing wasn’t an option, the new guidelines require masks in public even when there’s no one within six feet.
“We have recorded yet another day of record high case numbers,” Governor Janet Mills said yesterday. “This deadly and dangerous virus is spreading all across our state. Protect your family. Protect a health care worker. Protect the elderly. Wear your face covering. Save lives. It is that simple.”
Per Maine’s guidelines, face masks are required for all children over the age of 5 and are recommended for kids aged 2-4 when appropriate.
“Maine is experiencing widespread community transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19,” Dr. Nirav Shah of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said in a press release. “Wearing face coverings and staying at least six feet away from others when out in public are ways that every person in Maine can limit potential spread of the virus to help make their communities and homes safer.”
Massachusets Governor Charlier Baker announced a similar mask-wearing mandate — along with a new stay-at-home order — earlier this week.
With the coronavirus pandemic likely to worsen in the weeks ahead, it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see other states implement stricter coronavirus safety precautions in the coming weeks.