To date, the novel coronavirus pandemic has impacted more than 37.5 million people globally. Additionally, over a million deaths have been tied to this deadly pandemic which seems to be on the rise again in the U.S., according to data from Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering. According to CNN, 31 states as of Oct. 12 have reported a rise in COVID-19 cases compared to the previous week. Of these, nine states have reported record high COVID-19 hospitalizations including Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
These worrisome figures follow a couple of months of steady progress. The national hospitalization figures were at a high of close to 52,000 cases per month in July and fell by over 20,000 the next two months, according to a website that serves as a data source to John Hopkins and the White House. Despite the positive trends at the time, the absolute number of hospitalizations, cases and deaths remained high.
Additionally, as schools, colleges and many states reopen after being shut for most of the summer to contain the spread, it has increased the interaction and physical contact between people. This naturally leads to this increase in cases.
As of this report, only three states — Maine, Texas and Washington — have had fewer new cases compared to the previous week, CNN reported. The remaining 16 states are relatively steady. As the 2020 presidential election quickly approaches, public gatherings and events related to it including political rallies and watch parties are a cause of concern.
The next couple of weeks need to be closely monitored to avoid a surge in cases. As flu season begins and temperatures drop more in-person interactions will transition from indoor to outdoor spaces.