As more Covid-19 records get broken, debates on whether to send kids back to school or to shut down the economy again are coming to a head.
More than 1,000 people died every day for four straight days last week due to Covid-19. That brings the total US death toll from the virus to more than 146,000 as of Sunday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
And researchers project up to 175,000 deaths linked to the virus by August 15, according to an ensemble forecast published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
With overwhelmed hospitals and lengthy delays in testing, some local leaders – including Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti – said a second stay-at-home order might be possible.
That kind of drastic measure is supported by more than 150 prominent medical experts, scientists, teachers, nurses and other experts who signed a letter urging leaders to shut the country down and start over to contain the rampant spread of the virus.
“Right now, we are on a path to lose more than 200,000 American lives by November 1st. Yet, in many states people can drink in bars, get a haircut, eat inside a restaurant, get a tattoo, get a massage, and do myriad other normal, pleasant, but non-essential activities,” read the letter, which was sent to the Trump administration, members of Congress and state governors.
In the past two days, these states broke records:
As the country’s caseload and death toll climbs, at least four states reported record-breaking numbers since Friday.
California, which is leading the nation with the most recorded coronavirus cases, reported 159 deaths linked to the virus Friday – the highest number recorded in a single day since the start of the pandemic. More than half of all virus-related deaths in the state come from Los Angeles County, where more than 4,260 deaths have been reported. The state has had more than 446,450 reported infections, according to Johns Hopkins.
Georgia also broke a new single-day record Friday, reporting at least 4,813 new coronavirus cases. Health officials reported 3,787 new cases Saturday. More than 165,180 people have tested positive in the state, according to Johns Hopkins.
Oregon reported nine new coronavirus-related deaths Friday, breaking its record for most reported fatalities in a single day since the pandemic began. Health officials in the state reported 396 new cases, bringing the state’s total to more than 16,100.
For the second day in a row, Hawaii reported a record number of new cases, identifying 60 new positive tests Friday, according to health officials. On Thursday, Hawaii reported 55 new cases. the state has had at least 1,620 reported infections, according to Johns Hopkins.
Florida’s youngest victim was a 9-year-old girl
In Florida, a state that’s broken its record of new cases several times in recent weeks, Covid-19 hospitalizations have jumped by nearly 80% since July 4, according to data from the state’s Agency for Health Care Administration.