“This epidemic all appeared across the South and the West after June 10 simultaneously,” she told Fox News. “We saw wide virus spread across counties, across rural areas, across small metros and big metros, all the way across the South, Southwest and West, almost simultaneously.
What comes next is unclear: With now at least 41 states requiring face coverings, some have said strict measures like limiting gatherings and enforcing social distancing and masks can be as impactful as another lockdown. But others aren’t as hopeful.
“Masks will help, but I think we need a lot more than masks to contain this epidemic that’s running through our country like a freight train,” said William Haseltine, the chair and president of the global health think tank, ACCESS Health International.
“Until we see major changes of behavior and until we see the public health services here stepping forward with many more resources, we aren’t sure of containing this.”
Louisiana on track to hit 100,000 cases
Those include California (with the most cases), New York, Florida, Texas, New Jersey, Illinois, Georgia, Arizona, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
In Texas, the state broke its record for hospitalizations two days in a row this week, with 10,848 patients reported Tuesday and 10,893 reported Wednesday. It also reported Wednesday its highest single-day number of deaths: 197.
On Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said parents should have the option of sending their children back to the classroom or having them learn digitally from home, adding the “costs of keeping schools closed are enormous.”
Covid-19 could be 2nd leading cause of death in Los Angeles
California surpassed New York with the most cases in the nation this week. With more than 420,000 cases, the state has seen a recent surge whereas New York’s reported infections have slowed significantly. California reached another peak in new cases, reporting 12,807 positive tests in a day, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday.
On Wednesday, Los Angeles County health officials announced that the virus is on track to be the second leading cause of death in the county — with at least 3,400 fatalities in the first six months of the year.
That would mean the disease will claim more lives than Alzheimer’s Disease and strokes, health officials said. Coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death, claimed 6,000 lives in the first six months of 2019.
The news comes after the county reported 2,232 hospitalized patients Monday, breaking its own record of daily hospitalizations at least four times in a week. There were 2,207 confirmed cases hospitalized Wednesday, 27% of whom are in the ICU, health officials said.
Meanwhile, San Francisco is on “high alert” after averaging 79 new cases every day this week and seeing a 23% increase in hospitalizations, Public Health Director Grant Colfax said Wednesday.
Those two numbers play key roles in helping officials determine whether to pause or roll back reopening, Colfax added.
Fauci: ‘I don’t see us eradicating’ virus
As states focus on reeling in the spread of coronavirus, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert says the world may never eradicate the virus, but may be able to control it with a vaccine and good public health measures.
“I think with a combination of good public health measures, a degree of global herd immunity and a good vaccine — which I do hope and feel cautiously optimistic that we will get. I think when you put all three of those together, I think we will get very good control of this,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said, speaking during a webcast hosted by the TB Alliance.
Earlier this month, the World Health Organization also said it is unlikely that the world can eradicate or eliminate Covid-19 any time soon.
And another hurdle: half of Americans wouldn’t get a coronavirus vaccine if it were available today because of a lack of trust, former US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy told CNN earlier this week.
“We know that distributing vaccines is going to be hard enough and if people aren’t willing to take it because we haven’t built enough public trust, that’s going to seriously impair our ability to build herd immunity,” Murthy said.
CNN’s Andrea Kane, Keith Allen, Cheri Mossburg, Andy Rose and Alexandra Meeks contributed to this report.