In some states, much of those gains have been erased after an abysmal July that shattered records for new cases, hospitalizations or deaths.
“It is extraordinarily widespread. This epidemic right now is different … and it’s both rural and urban.”
— The highest number of new Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began.
— Test positivity rates increasing in 32 states.
— Record-high hospitalizations or deaths in several states.
— 10 days with more than 1,000 new Covid-19 deaths.
Almost 2 million new cases in 1 month
And that’s not just due to testing.
While the number of tests performed has increased, the test positivity rate has also increased. That means a larger percentage of tests performed turn out to be positive.
Had the rise in new case numbers just been the result of increased testing, “the percent positive line could look flat or like it is decreasing over the time period when cases increased,” according to Johns Hopkins University.
“If we see the percentage of positive tests begin to rise, it indicates insufficient testing to find infections that may be occurring,” Johns Hopkins said. “Not finding these infections may mean that the virus is transmitting without intervention, which can lead to future case growth.”
Record hospitalizations and deaths
— Last Wednesday, California reported 197 deaths, its highest number of coronavirus deaths in a single day. That shattered California’s previous grim record of 159, set just a week earlier.
— Last Tuesday, North Carolina reported a record number of 1,244 Covid-19 hospitalizations.
— Texas broke its hospitalization record twice in two days. On July 21, the Lone Star State had 10,848 Covid-19 patients. The next day, the number jumped to 10,893 hospitalized patients.
— Texas also reported 197 deaths on July 23, the highest daily death toll since the beginning of the pandemic.
— Arizona reported 147 deaths on July 18, its highest daily number of Covid-19 deaths.
— Tennessee reported 37 deaths on July 23, its highest number of deaths in a single day.
Why are these resurgences happening?
— Young people who are socializing and ignoring physical distancing.
— Essential workers who are in frequent contact with members of the public.
— People who live in crowded living conditions.
— People in nursing homes or correctional facilities where the virus can easily spread.
“But there’s another one which I am very worried about, which is our schools,” Haseltine said.
Is there any good news?
Yes. Some states have decreasing rates of infection, hospitalizations and deaths — paving the way for full economic reopenings.
The two most important steps are social distancing and wearing a face mask when you might come in contact with others, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
CNN’s Tina Burnside, Cheri Mossburg, Raja Razek and Jamiel Lynch contributed to this report.