- Nationally, the number of new coronavirus cases has been on a downward trend in recent days as the US begins to get a better grip on the COVID-19 pandemic.
- However, at least four states are showing worrying signs in the form of new coronavirus case spikes.
- The states include South Dakota, which earlier this month hosted a controversial motorcycle rally that drew a crowd of more than 100,000 people.
For now, it looks like White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci’s next great fear about the coronavirus pandemic — that the situation in the US could deteriorate to the point that we see more than 100,000 new coronavirus cases a day if things don’t turn around — isn’t poised to materialize, based on our current trajectory.
Since July 22, the number of daily new COVID-19 cases in the US has fallen from a peak of about 70,000 to about 42,600 new infections per day. That’s according to a CNBC analysis of the seven-day average of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. And the positive news also extends to testing — per Johns Hopkins data, the percentage of coronavirus tests coming back positive has fallen from 8.5% late last month to 6.2% this week. All that said, however, this is absolutely not the time to get complacent. Because while, overall, the news is starting to look a little better in terms of the US response to the pandemic, there are still some states here and there that experts are concerned about because of the number of new coronavirus cases there.
In fact, even though coronavirus cases nationally dropped from a high of 468,000 in mid-jury to 297,000 in recent days — at least four states, by one tally, are seeing worrying spikes in coronavirus cases:
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
South Dakota’s inclusion on this list should be the least-surprising. Earlier this month, the city of Sturgis, South Dakota, hosted a motorcycle rally that drew more than 100,000 people from August 7-16. The event, which also saw a live performance by the band Smash Mouth, garnered headlines around the country because of the size of the crowd and because most of them seemed to not be wearing face masks.
In a turn of events that should be shocking to precisely no one, the city of Sturgis unfortunately saw more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases reported in recent days. Accordingly, the city is now reportedly conducting mass coronavirus testing for its approximately 7,000 residents, according to the Associated Press.
In terms of the other states on this list that are seeing dangerous coronavirus case spikes right now, all of them but one (Maine) have a tie of some sort to that Sturgis rally. North Dakota, of course, is an adjacent state, and cases are also thought to have spread to Wyoming when attendees of the rally dispersed and went back home.
Some of the problems in Maine, meanwhile, can be traced to an altogether different event. Health officials in Maine point to a wedding celebration attended by 65 people that took place earlier this month as the source of more than 50 new coronavirus infections.