Covid-19 cases surge in some states as Americans celebrate Memorial Day weekend

Governor Doug Burgum (R-ND) fights back tears discussing masks during his daily press briefing about coronavirus, saying that those wearing masks during the Covid-19 pandemic may not be doing so for political reasons.

Posted: May 24, 2020 9:01 PM
Updated: May 24, 2020 9:01 PM

Just because you can go to the beach or bars doesn't mean it's time to let your guard down. In fact, some states are seeing new spikes in coronavirus cases.

"With the country starting to open up this holiday weekend, I again remind everyone that the coronavirus is not yet contained," said Dr. Stephen M. Hahn, commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration.

"It is up to every individual to protect themselves and their community. Social distancing, hand washing and wearing masks protect us all."

Many Americans have flocked to parks, restaurants and beaches to celebrate Memorial Day weekend.

In Alabama's Gulf Shores, "there are literally thousands of people out here on the beach, and what I'm really pleased to see is that many of these folks, almost all of them, are doing a great job with social distancing," beachgoer Steve Ricks told CNN affiliate WPMI.

But some ignored health warnings, despite new information that an estimated 40% of coronavirus transmissions occur before any symptoms.

Video from a pool party at Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, showed a massive crowd of people crammed together both inside and outside the pool.

Saturday's footage came the same day Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said several people who attended a swim party contracted Covid-19.

An aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Melissa DeRosa, harshly criticized a restaurant in Patchogue that eased restrictions on mask wearing and social distancing by allowing customers to come inside to pick up food on a rainy Friday night.

"That's stupid -- stupid for you, it's stupid for your surrounding patrons, it's stupid for the bar," she said Sunday at a news briefing.

The Dublin De​ck Tiki Bar and Grill posted an apology on Instagram, saying, "There are no excuses when it comes to public safety. We should not have allowed anybody inside whatsoever."

Social distancing was forgotten in Daytona Beach, Florida, on Saturday when a man apparently making a rap video threw money from atop a car into the crowd on a main thoroughfare, authorities said. Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said officers are looking through aerial footage in an attempt to identify and arrest the man.

Experts warn the US is nowhere near out of the woods with coronavirus. More than 1.6 million Americans have been infected and over 97,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.

"Look at the numbers. You'll see that on Thursday, more than 20,000 Americans were infected," said Dr. Seema Yasmin, a former disease detective at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Friday, "that number went up, and there were more than 24,000 Americans newly diagnosed with Covid-19."

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Birx has a message for those refusing to wear masks

Wearing a face mask is critical to reducing the spread of coronavirus, especially since many carriers don't even know they're contagious, said Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator.

"There is clear scientific evidence now, by all the droplet experiments that happened and that others have done, to show that a mask does prevent droplets from reaching others," Birx told "Fox News Sunday."

She offered a message to those who say they have a right not to wear a mask in public.

"Out of respect for each other, as Americans that care for each other, we need to be wearing masks in public when we cannot social distance," she said.

In an interview with ABC, Birx said "there's asymptomatic spread. And that means that people are spreading the virus unknowingly."

"And this is unusual in the case of respiratory diseases," Birx said. "So you don't know who's infected. And so we really want to be clear all the time that social distancing is absolutely critical. And if you can't social distance and you're outside, you must wear a mask."

Several states see surges in coronavirus cases

States such as North Carolina and Arkansas are seeing major spikes, Yasmin said.

On Saturday, North Carolina reported its highest single-day increase of new coronavirus cases, just a day after the state rolled into its second phase of reopening.

In Arkansas, Gov. Hutchinson said the state seemed to be experiencing a "second peak." He said that rise is due in part to more widespread testing.

The CDC and 11 states could be misleading in how they report tests, experts say.

And high numbers of new cases have emerged from Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Nebraska and Illinois, Birx said.

You asked, we're answering: Your top coronavirus questions

Houston mayor: 'Too many people who are coming together'

Texas beaches also saw crowds over the weekend after bars were allowed to reopen, with restrictions.

Texas is one of a handful of southern states at risk of seeing a rapid surge of new coronavirus cases in some areas, according to a new projection model.

That model predicts that Harris County, which includes Houston, could see more than 2,000 new cases each day by June.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said Sunday the city will enforce the 25% capacity rule in bars and clubs -- two days after saying the rule would not be enforced. The city also will enforce the 50% rule for restraurants.

Speaking at a news conference livestreamed by CNN affiliate KPRC, Turner said he changed course after seeing social media photos of establishments clearly above their occupancy requirements.

"The reality is that there are too many people who are coming together," Turner said. "No social distancing, no mask. And then after this Memorial Day weekend is over they're going to be on somebody's job or in close proximity to somebody else."

The projection model also shows parts of South Florida and parts of Alabama and Tennessee are also poised for spikes in coronavirus cases.

A study leads to encouraging results

There's a bit of good news when it comes to a possible therapy for Covid-19 patients.

A study appeared to show patients who received transfusions of antibody-filled convalescent plasma seemed to fare better. Convalescent plasma is derived from the blood of recovered coronavirus patients.

The study hasn't been peer-reviewed or published in an academic journal, but researchers said the findings are a good sign for plasma therapy.

"We are encouraged that our initial assessment offers evidence in support of convalescent plasma as an effective intervention," said Dr. Nicole Bouvier, an associate professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and a co-author on the study.

But more studies are needed to confirm the findings, the researchers said.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1097128

Reported Deaths: 17438
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1437882222
Lake712531225
Allen65537867
Hamilton50147482
St. Joseph48760639
Elkhart39461538
Vanderburgh34221495
Tippecanoe30237271
Johnson27179463
Hendricks25845379
Porter25014381
Madison20656444
Clark19898275
Vigo18764308
LaPorte16857260
Delaware16425291
Howard16408311
Monroe16379217
Kosciusko13936163
Hancock12841185
Bartholomew12686188
Warrick11995189
Wayne11879265
Floyd11869225
Grant11701235
Morgan10252188
Boone9675120
Noble9069121
Henry9002165
Marshall8907146
Dearborn881799
Dubois8710139
Shelby8054128
Cass8014127
Lawrence7922182
DeKalb7591106
Huntington7448108
Jackson743893
Gibson7002118
Montgomery6910123
Harrison685296
Knox6827113
Steuben654186
Miami6477107
Whitley642260
Putnam631982
Clinton618976
Wabash6060108
Jasper601791
Jefferson5689103
Ripley549192
Adams532381
Daviess5003116
Scott480378
Wells471799
White468767
Greene461799
Clay457462
Decatur4529109
Jennings439666
Fayette435694
LaGrange419290
Posey403244
Washington384154
Randolph3818107
Fountain368362
Spencer355846
Fulton355572
Starke348772
Owen346276
Sullivan344954
Orange324470
Jay318650
Rush298332
Carroll289438
Franklin286744
Perry283253
Vermillion280458
Tipton247365
Parke246330
Pike244144
Blackford218044
Pulaski205658
Newton179052
Brown171850
Crawford167929
Benton163217
Martin150819
Switzerland145112
Warren132216
Union117816
Ohio91413
Unassigned0585

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1683472

Reported Deaths: 26483
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1766331826
Cuyahoga1641462636
Hamilton1122641528
Montgomery794721387
Summit702171199
Lucas618431017
Butler55878803
Stark525841170
Lorain41058639
Warren35404412
Mahoning35095769
Lake31445493
Clermont30711362
Delaware26682182
Trumbull26664611
Licking26200335
Medina25291351
Fairfield24173287
Greene24051369
Clark21653387
Portage20709280
Richland20587336
Wood19626246
Allen18542320
Miami17031348
Columbiana16502331
Muskingum16416206
Wayne15432304
Tuscarawas14086357
Marion13054194
Erie12423198
Ashtabula12314225
Scioto12235182
Pickaway12070151
Ross11487223
Hancock11256173
Geauga10666174
Lawrence10504171
Belmont10259231
Huron9588155
Jefferson9462225
Union939175
Sandusky9068166
Seneca8692156
Knox8618169
Washington8613156
Athens827396
Darke8270179
Ashland7840147
Auglaize7741115
Shelby7337132
Defiance7210114
Crawford7082150
Brown7052115
Fulton7016111
Logan6857108
Mercer681697
Guernsey680283
Highland6615117
Madison641389
Clinton6388106
Williams628798
Preble6171139
Putnam6089120
Jackson572396
Champaign568286
Perry558879
Coshocton5552103
Ottawa553599
Morrow506464
Fayette483170
Hardin477899
Gallia462978
Pike459076
Van Wert454691
Adams4514109
Henry424976
Hocking401493
Holmes3939137
Wyandot367973
Carroll351578
Paulding319349
Meigs302457
Monroe231860
Noble216447
Morgan210138
Harrison205152
Vinton183937
Unassigned05
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
29° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 23°
Angola
Clear
28° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 28°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 27°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
29° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 23°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 27°
The warming trend is expected to continue through Thursday before cooler air returns to the Midwest.
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