On Sunday, for the first time since March, New York City’s Department of Health reported no deaths from COVID-19, a much-needed breath of fresh air in a region that was once the epicenter of the US coronavirus pandemic. However, across the nation, coronavirus case counts vary widely, showing the stark differences in how different regions are handling the pandemic. The number of positive case counts continues to surge in southern and southwestern states. This past weekend alone, there were more than 100,000 new cases of the virus, according to data from state and local health agencies and analyzed by The New York Times. Here’s the latest news you need to know this week.
39 states across the US are experiencing a significant uptick in COVID-19 cases
Back in March, when the coronavirus pandemic first took hold, surging caseloads were confined to the particularly densely-populated Northeast. Back in late April and May, many of these seemingly unaffected states began to reopen their economies. Now, with cases rising in all but 11 states, many experts argue that these states’ officials were too quick to open stores, businesses, and restaurants back up.
Many more densely-populated cities—including Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, and Phoenix—are experiencing such high caseloads that their hospitals are running out of beds, similar in many ways to New York City at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
As cases continue to spike in the south and southwest, areas of the midwest are also starting to see a jump in positive case counts. This includes parts of Ohio and Wisconsin as well as cities like Oklahoma City and Minneapolis.
Texas, California, and Florida are especially hard-hit
A sharp-rise in new COVID-19 cases in June has led to what experts knew was inevitable: A subsequent spike in deaths from the novel virus, BuzzFeedNews reports.
New cases of the novel coronavirus started to rise at the beginning of last month. The death toll didn’t rise immediately, but researchers have warned that any potential increases in deaths related to the virus would lag a few weeks behind an increase in cases. It takes time for the disease to inflitrate communities, and patients tend to battle the disease for weeks. At first, cases were mostly affecting young people in these regions, who tend to fare better with the disease, before it spread to older and riskier populations.
As many as one in three young people could be at risk for serious cases of COVID-19
Researchers and doctors studying the coronavirus are still trying to pinpoint what makes some people so sick while others experience a far less serious bout with the virus. In a new study published today in the Journal of Adolescent Health, researchers looked at a sample of 8,400 men and women between the ages of 18 and 25 using data gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. From this group, which represented a cross-section of young adults in the United States, the authors found that 33 percent of males and 30 percent of women were considered at risk of developing severe COVID-19.
The researchers included risk factors that the CDC had identified as added risks for a more serious case. They include heart conditions, diabetes, asthma, immune conditions (such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis), as well as liver conditions, obesity, and smoking (including e-cigarette use) within the previous 30 days. Cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and cigars have all been negatively associated with respiratory and immune function, according to the CDC.
Throughout the pandemic, the risk to young people has, at times, been understated. Although the majority of COVID-19 deaths have occurred in older people, young people are in no way immune to experiencing severe cases of COVID-19.
The WHO reported 230,370 cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, the largest number of new worldwide cases yet
The United States is not the only country seeing a spike in cases. On Sunday, the World Health Organization reported its highest number of daily cases yet at 230,370, according to Reuters. Globally, cases are approaching 13 million. As of July 10th, the average number of deaths from COVID-19 are stable, but still significant, hovering at 5,000 per day.
California, in the midst of a coronavirus spike, announces a significant rollback to its reopening orders
The state of California has been averaging at least 8,000 cases per day since late June, which is more than twice what it experienced just one month ago. As such, its governor, Gavin Newsom, announced his plan to retreat away from some of the state’s reopening places. In particular, Newsom is now requiring fitness centers, worship areas, hair salons, barbershops, and malls to close.
Today, both Los Angeles and San Diego public school systems announced their plans to keep schools closed through the fall, providing online learning instruction only. More than a third of California coronavirus cases are in these two areas, according to The New York Times.