Governors and public health officials across the United States are pleading with Americans to change their behavior and prepare for a long winter as the country shatters record after record for coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.
Both records were broken yet again Friday, as more than 181,100 new cases were reported nationwide, and today at least 121,000 new cases were recorded. The seven-day average of new daily cases is more than 140,000, with upward trends in 49 states. Some 30 states added more cases in the last week than in any other seven-day period.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York tweeted Saturday morning: “One in every 378 Americans tested positive for COVID-19 over the past week. Wear a mask.” Cuomo’s math is on target: In a population of 330 million, 894,819 people, or 1 in 378, tested positive since last Saturday.
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The virus has killed more than 1,000 Americans a day in the past week, a toll that would shock the nation, were it not for the fact that twice as many people were dying daily during a stretch in April, when doctors knew less about how to treat COVID, the illness caused by the virus.
Wyoming reported 17 new deaths Saturday; Oklahoma 23; Montana 36 and South Dakota 53, all single-day records.
Today, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland, Minnesota, Indiana, Utah, Montana and Alaska all set single-day records for new cases.
North Dakota also hit a single-day record Saturday, announcing 2,270 new cases. In a reversal, the state’s governor, Doug Burgum, announced several measures late Friday, including a mask mandate, a limit on indoor dining of 50% capacity or 150 people and a suspension of high school winter sports and extracurricular activities until Dec. 14. The state has critically understaffed hospitals and the highest rates of new cases and deaths per person in the nation.
In New Mexico on Friday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced the nation’s most sweeping statewide measure of the fall season, issuing a two-week “stay at home” order to begin Monday. She asked people to shelter in place except for essential trips and said nonessential businesses and nonprofits must cease in-person activities.
Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon issued orders Friday to place the state in a partial lockdown for two weeks, shuttering gyms, halting restaurant dining and mandating that social gatherings have no more than six people.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, appeared on “CBS This Morning” on Friday to repeat his pleas to Americans to take the virus seriously.
“If we do the things that are simple public health measures, that soaring will level and start to come down,” he said. “You add that to the help of a vaccine, we can turn this around. It is not futile.”