Scientists say coronavirus won't end with warmer weather while US plans for life under a new normal

CNN's Chris Cuomo pushed back at New York Governor Andrew Cuomo when he claimed that some might say New York was "too prepared" for the coronavirus pandemic.

Posted: Apr 9, 2020 5:40 AM
Updated: Apr 9, 2020 5:40 AM

With health experts warning that warmer months won't bring an end to coronavirus, officials are developing a framework for what America's new normal could look like.

President Trump has previously claimed that increased temperatures will bring an end to the virus. But members of a National Academy of Sciences committee said in a letter to the White House Tuesday that the data is mixed on if the virus spreads less easily in the heat, however that might not matter much given the lack of immunity.

With more than 432,000 cases and 14,817 deaths, the nation has already had to adjust to a world where social distancing is key to reducing the impact of coronavirus. Families gathered Wednesday night for virtual Passover Seders and weekend Easter celebrations are anticipated to be online as well for many.

Though Attorney General William Barr called current social distancing measures "draconian," Dr. Anthony Fauci told lawmakers that the White House task force is developing a framework for what a return to normalcy will look like for Americans, a source told CNN.

But normal may not look exactly like it once did. The handshake, for example, may need to become a thing of the past, said Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

"I think what we're going to have embedded and imprinted in us forever is the realization that something as catastrophic as what the world is experiencing now can happen," Fauci said.

Trends in projected deaths

Wednesday was another record day of deaths with an increase of 1,922 reported fatalities, according to data supplied by Johns Hopkins University.

And though the impact has been grave thus far, there is a glimmer of hope with models projecting lower numbers of deaths by the time the pandemic subsides.

The US will reach its highest daily number of deaths on or around Sunday, according to modeling by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle. The peak of demand on hospital beds and ventilators is projected to hit on or around Saturday.

On Tuesday, the IHME estimated about 82,000 people will die from coronavirus disease by August. On Wednesday, that estimate was lowered to 60,415.

That decrease is thanks to the actions taken by Americans, said White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx.

"What has been so remarkable, I think, to those of us that have been in the science field for so long," Birx said, "is how important behavioral change is, and how amazing Americans are at adapting to and following through on these behavioral changes."

CDC teams protecting areas with low transmission

Some areas have yet to see high transmission rates of the virus, and the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention has deployed eight teams in hopes of keeping it that way, a federal official involved in the day-to-day coronavirus response told CNN.

The "community protection field teams" work directly with state and local health departments, but the official declined to say where the teams would be placed.

A second federal health official said at least one would be deployed to Wyoming.

"They have not had a lot of cases. You want to make sure it stays that way," the senior federal health official told CNN when asked about Wyoming. "You work closely with them to make sure their public health capacity is working. Find cases, interrupt clusters, and do containment as opposed to mitigation," the official said.

"If containment is achieved, you don't have to have broader heavy duty mitigation restrictions."

States say measures are working

In the meantime, many states are reporting that social distancing measures and stay at home orders are working to mitigate the virus.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson lauded the state's targeted approach and residents' social distancing measures Wednesday, noting the state has 2.5 hospitalizations per 100,000 people.

"That makes a difference in how we get out of this, how soon we get out of this and that we beat that curve and so I want to thank everybody for paying such close attention to it and doing a good job," Hutchinson said.

And though Kentucky saw its largest increase in reported cases Wednesday, Gov. Andy Beshear said that the state's low numbers relative to the rest of the nation show that social distancing measures are working.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Wednesday that although the state's cases are still growing, the trajectory of growth is lower than anticipated. But, he said, the good news should not be a sign for residents to let their guards down when it comes to social distancing and stay at home orders or cases will spike right back up.

California is a hotspot with more than 18,700 cases, but the state has seen results as well with its strict social distancing measures. Responding early to the virus has slowed the doubling of cases in Santa Clara country from three days to two weeks or longer, said Health Officer Dr. Sarah Cody.

"We cannot let up. Most of the people living in our community are still susceptible," Cody stressed. "This is a marathon, maybe an ultra-marathon."

Outbreaks in prisons

A jail in Chicago is now the largest known source of coronavirus infections in the US outside of medical facilities, according to the Cook County Sheriff's Office.

The Cook County Sheriff's office said Wednesday 251 detainees and 150 staff members of the Cook County Jail have tested positive for the virus. Of the detainees sickened in the outbreak, 22 are hospitalized for treatment and 31 others have been moved to a recovery facility.

A detainee died of apparent coronavirus complications, but the autopsy is pending, the sheriff's office said.

"Jails in this country are petri dishes. They're the government equivalent of nursing homes or cruise ships," said Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board president. "It's very difficult in a jail to maintain social distancing."

In the California prison system, the number of inmates infected grew by more than seven times in a little more than a week and staff cases nearly tripled, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said Wednesday.

"You have people in Italy dying, people in Spain dying, people in America dying, people are panic buying, people are concerned and people are scared," Samuel Brown, an inmate at California State Prison, Los Angeles County told CNN. "And the truth of the matter is prisoners are people. So we're also afraid."

"And there's a potential of us dying, too."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 46915

Reported Deaths: 2681
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11499683
Lake5053242
Elkhart316443
Allen2717128
St. Joseph186366
Cass16369
Hamilton1518100
Hendricks1386100
Johnson1254118
Porter71237
Tippecanoe6778
Madison64864
Clark63844
Bartholomew58244
Howard56057
LaPorte55326
Kosciusko5124
Vanderburgh4806
Jackson4653
LaGrange4657
Noble45728
Hancock43735
Boone43443
Delaware42949
Marshall4273
Shelby42025
Floyd37144
Morgan32531
Montgomery29320
Grant29026
Clinton2852
Monroe26628
Dubois2646
White26010
Decatur24832
Henry24315
Lawrence23624
Vigo2288
Dearborn22723
Harrison21022
Warrick21029
Greene18432
Miami1812
Jennings17111
Putnam1688
Scott1607
DeKalb1594
Daviess14116
Orange13523
Wayne1346
Perry1279
Steuben1262
Franklin1248
Jasper1142
Ripley1147
Carroll1102
Wabash1102
Fayette987
Newton9710
Whitley884
Starke853
Randolph784
Huntington712
Wells711
Jefferson701
Fulton681
Jay680
Washington661
Knox630
Pulaski621
Clay604
Gibson592
Rush563
Adams481
Benton480
Owen471
Sullivan441
Brown381
Blackford372
Posey360
Spencer351
Fountain302
Tipton301
Crawford290
Switzerland260
Martin220
Parke220
Ohio140
Warren141
Union130
Vermillion130
Pike90
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 55257

Reported Deaths: 2903
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin9825417
Cuyahoga7392372
Hamilton5605197
Marion273038
Lucas2669302
Pickaway218441
Summit2079206
Montgomery191826
Mahoning1805231
Butler151144
Columbiana128860
Stark1079112
Lorain98367
Trumbull91665
Warren81421
Clark7619
Belmont54322
Delaware54115
Fairfield52916
Tuscarawas52910
Medina50632
Lake48018
Miami45531
Licking44212
Portage42858
Ashtabula42544
Wood40451
Geauga39942
Clermont3906
Wayne35951
Richland3255
Allen30540
Mercer2788
Darke24525
Greene2449
Erie23422
Holmes2203
Huron1992
Madison1928
Ottawa13923
Crawford1345
Washington13020
Putnam12615
Sandusky12614
Hardin12012
Morrow1161
Ross1133
Auglaize1044
Coshocton902
Monroe8817
Jefferson832
Union801
Hancock781
Hocking788
Muskingum761
Preble701
Williams682
Guernsey673
Lawrence670
Clinton660
Shelby644
Fulton610
Ashland581
Carroll583
Logan581
Wyandot585
Brown541
Defiance493
Fayette460
Knox451
Highland441
Athens431
Champaign391
Scioto380
Seneca332
Perry321
Van Wert320
Henry290
Paulding230
Adams221
Pike220
Vinton222
Jackson180
Gallia141
Harrison121
Meigs110
Morgan110
Noble110
Unassigned00
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Angola
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Huntington
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Decatur
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Van Wert
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