The coronavirus death toll in the U.S. increased by around 25 percent in a day as the country’s total number of fatalities climbed past 1,000 on Wednesday night. At least 619 have recovered from infection. There are nearly 69,200 confirmed cases in the U.S., as of Thursday morning, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.
New York City, King County in Washington state and parts of New Jersey reported the highest death tolls so far, followed by New Orleans in Louisiana, Georgia and other parts of New York.
The virus, which was first reported in Wuhan, a city in China’s Hubei province, has spread to more than 480,000 people across at least 175 countries. Over 115,000 have recovered, while more than 21,500 have died across the globe.
China has more than 81,700 cases, with nearly 3,200 fatalities and around 73,000 recoveries. With more infections reported outside China than within, China claims its outbreak has been largely contained.
Cases continue to soar in the U.S. yet it is unknown how many have officially recovered. Speaking to Newsweek, a spokesperson for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it does not “have the current numbers for recovered patients at this time, and CDC has not included this data in our ongoing case counts as of yet”. The spokesperson said the CDC “may put it [the data on recoveries] together in the future.”
U.S. coronavirus deaths rise by 25 percent
- At least 1,041 deaths across the U.S., as of Thursday morning.
- New York City has 280 fatalities and 98 deaths are reported in other parts of New York state.
- New York City has reported at least 17,856 cases, nearly a quarter of all the cases in the country.
- New York has 30,811 confirmed cases (nearly 45 percent of the total cases in the U.S.), New York Governor Andrew Cuomo confirmed on Wednesday.
- Washington state has 132 deaths, including 94 in King County, the state’s health department confirms.
- The death tolls in Louisiana (65), New Jersey (62), California (53) and Georgia (47) are also climbing, according to the latest reports from their respective state health departments.
Experts on the COVID-19 virus task force led by Vice President Mike Pence have expressed they are “deeply concerned” over the growing outbreak in New York.
Dr. Deborah Birx, a physician and health expert on the COVID-19 task force, said: “We remain deeply concerned about New York City and the New York metro area,” earlier this week at a White House press briefing on Tuesday.
She warned that “everybody who was in New York should be self-quarantining for the next 14 days to ensure that the virus doesn’t spread to others, no matter where they have gone, whether it’s Florida, North Carolina, or out to far, far reaches of Long Island.”
“We are starting to see new cases across Long Island that suggest people have left the city. So this will be very critical that those individuals do self-quarantine in their homes over these next 14 days to make sure they don’t pass the virus to others, based on the time that they left New York,” she added.
America told to prepare for possible second wave of infections
As the country remains in lockdown mode as part President Donald Trump’s 15-day plan to slow the spread of the virus, a U.S. health expert from the COVID-19 task force warned the virus may see another wave of widespread infections.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director (NIAID) and an expert on the virus task force, noted on Wednesday at a White House press briefing: “Would this possibly become a seasonal cyclic thing? I’ve always indicated to you that I think it very well might.”
“What we’re starting to see in the Southern Hemisphere of Southern Africa and the Southern Hemisphere countries, is that we’re having cases that are appearing as they go into their winter season,” he explained.
“If they [Southern Africa and Southern Hemisphere countries] have a substantial outbreak, it will be inevitable that we need to be prepared that we’ll get a cycle a second time,” he warned.
Fauci’s warning comes after Trump’s remarks earlier this week that he would like the country to be opened and “raring to go by Easter,” which falls on April 12 this year.
Trump’s 15-day plan to slow the spread ends on Monday and the president said the situation will be reassessed at that point.
“We’ll give it some more time if we need more time but we have to open this country up,” Trump said earlier this week. “We can social distance ourselves and go to work,” he said.
U.S. Surgeon General warns America could become like Italy
Surgeon General Jerome Adams was hopeful that there was still time to flatten the peak of the curve of the spread but warned it is vital for mitigation measures to be followed.
“We’re seeing their hospitalizations start to level off. And when you look at China, when you look at South Korea, their curve was about two to two and a half months,” he noted Thursday on the Ingraham Angle show on Fox News.
“So there is hope that if we continue to lean into the mitigation efforts and we’re two-thirds of the way through this 15 days to stop the spread initiative, that we can flatten the curve and that we can get to the end of this more quickly.”
He also warned: “We could be worse than Italy if we don’t participate in these 15 days to stop the spread,” and that “we’re still seeing far too many pictures of people out there doing the wrong things.”
“Playing basketball, out on beaches. We need America to understand that we still could be like Italy,” he said.
Southern states see spike in cases
- Florida has reported at least 1,867 confirmed cases, with 23 fatalities, the state’s department of health confirms.
- Louisiana has seen at least 65 deaths among its total 1,795 confirmed cases, according to the state’s health department.
- The virus has claimed 47 lives in Georgia, which now has 1,347 confirmed cases, the state’s department of health reports.
- Texas currently reports around 974 cases with 12 deaths, as of Wednesday, with most cases (169) in Dallas County, followed by Harris County (134) and Travis County (98), according to the state’s department of health.
Several southern states, including Florida, Texas, Louisiana and Georgia, have been seeing a spike in cases, including deaths, in recent days. There are nearly 6,000 cases and 147 deaths reported across those four states combined.
Trump approved disaster declarations for Florida and Texas on Wednesday and for Louisiana on Tuesday, which opens up access to federal funding across each of the states to cope with the impact of the outbreak.
“Texas is aggressively pursuing and implementing all necessary strategies to limit the impact of COVID-19, and I thank President Trump for his swift action to issue a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of Texas,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott in a statement.
The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the spread of COVID-19 across the U.S.
Data on COVID-19 cases is from Johns Hopkins University unless otherwise stated.
World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
- Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
- Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
- Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.
- Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
- Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
- If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
- Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
- Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.
Mask and glove usage
- Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
- Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
- Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
- Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
- Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
- Do not reuse single-use masks.
- Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
- The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.