• Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, more than 11.4 million coronavirus cases have been reported in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University — and it’s believed that more than 3 million people in the US have active coronavirus infections right now.
  • That number, finally, includes people from the small Texas county that had been a holdout all this time, only reporting its first coronavirus cases this week after more than a year.
  • Now that coronavirus has been identified among residents of Loving County, Texas, the virus has now touched every county in the US.

It’s believed that more than 3 million people in the US have active coronavirus infections right now, according to infectious disease experts tracking the coronavirus pandemic. Moreover, per The Washington Post, that estimated 3 million people includes more than just Americans infected with the virus — they’re also potentially contagious and able to spread it to other people.

That insight into the number of people who probably have the virus right now in the US should provide some extra insight into how complex the task has become for mayors and governors who are struggling to deal with a surge in coronavirus cases at the moment. Many of them have moved to re-impose restrictions, curfews, and other curbs on business operations and public gatherings. All this time, meanwhile, there’s been one small locale in the US that’s watched all this with a bit of fascination, since it’s managed to stay COVID-free throughout the pandemic. Until now.


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Before Tuesday, Texas’ Loving County, which has less than 200 residents, had not recorded any official COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began, according to The New York Times this week — making this particular county the one exception to the coronavirus rule in the US. Every other county around the rest of the country had already reported cases … and on Tuesday, Loving County finally joined them, per The Times’ report.

The cases were confirmed abruptly, and county officials seemed at a loss as to how to explain them to the newspaper.

There’s been a joke in Loving County during the pandemic that its residents were socially distant “before it was cool.” According to The Times’ reporting, it’s also the smallest population within the US mainland, with less than 200 people spread across almost 670 square miles. The small population, and the fact that it’s so spread out, was regarded as being among the reasons why it’s been able to avoid the coronavirus — until it no longer could.

This news only reiterates how scary and devastating the pandemic is, and why public health experts like White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci and others have been insisting to everyone that the pandemic must be taken seriously. It’s now touched everywhere in the US, and no one is safe from it.

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.