- Coronavirus cases in the US continue to climb at an unacceptable pace, though the rate of daily new cases has begun to drop after peaking at more than 70,000.
- With schools across the country in the process of reopening, many experts fear that coronavirus case numbers will soon start soaring again.
- Poor reopening strategies at schools will indeed likely cause hundreds of new outbreaks around the US, but there are already 11 states right now where new coronavirus case numbers are increasing at an alarming rate.
Remember a few months ago when new coronavirus case numbers in the United States finally began to fall and people were concerned about the second wave of infections? Now, in hindsight, a second wave seems like it would have been a blessing. Instead, the US never managed to get the first wave of coronavirus outbreaks under control, and we’re still riding it now with more than 40,000 new coronavirus cases still being recorded across the country on a daily basis. The good news is that figure is down substantially from the more than 70,000 daily cases we were registering for a brief period in late July. But the bad news is that the US is still averaging more than 40,000 new coronavirus cases each day as schools across the country continue to reopen.
More than 74,000 children in the US tested positive for COVID-19 during the two-week period that ended on August 20th. Needless to say, that figure is staggering. Schools are reopening with no meaningful guidance from the White House, and we’ve seen disaster after disaster as a result. One Florida school district saw 9,000 children catch COVID-19 within 15 days of reopening. The University of Alabama recorded 566 coronavirus cases among students and faculty within the first week of classes. We could go on and on. Children have a very high rate of recovery when it comes to COVID-19, which is clearly a good thing. But children who catch the potentially deadly disease can spread it to their parents and other family members before anyone knows they’re infected, or even afterward while they quarantine at home. It’s a scary situation that we’re watching unfold in real-time, and there are now 11 states across the US that are already seeing new coronavirus case numbers surge.
Things were looking pretty good for a while. Have a look at this chart from Statista, which shows daily new coronavirus case numbers in the US:
That downward trend from late-July to mid-August is unmistakable, but unfortunately, it might not be sustainable. New case numbers were declining in almost every state across the country earlier this month. Now, however, new case numbers are beginning to surge in 11 states as well as one US territory.
The New York Times collects data from a range of sources and presents it on a special coronavirus page that drills things down per state. States are divided into three main groups that show us where new cases are increasing, decreasing, or staying about the same. The Times uses 14-day averages in total cases and cases per capita to illustrate trends, and the charts embedded above show the areas that are trending up. In addition to Guam, 11 US states are currently seeing coronavirus case numbers climb:
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
- North Carolina
There are also 11 states that are seeing an increase in coronavirus deaths right now:
- Rhode Island
Things aren’t nearly as bad as they were in late July, but it’s quite clear that things in many states are trending in the wrong direction. As schools continue to reopen without adequate strategies in place, we can expect to see plenty of states move from the “Where new cases are decreasing” list and the “Where new cases are mostly the same” list over to the “Where new cases are increasing” list on The New York Times’ coronavirus case tracker. Sadly, more additions to the “Where new deaths are increasing” list will likely follow close behind.