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Just as Covid-19 cases keep rising in 18 states, holiday revelers crammed together without masks

CNN's John King looks at the trends in US Covid-19 cases and sees encouraging signs for some states.

Posted: May 26, 2020 11:41 AM
Updated: May 26, 2020 11:41 AM

Packing pool parties and other Memorial Day events, many Americans marked the unofficial start of summer just like they did before coronavirus.

But while the revelers shunned face masks and ignored social distancing guidelines, the virus keeps spreading unabated, killing both the elderly and the young.

By Tuesday morning, more than 1,660,000 Americans have been infected with the coronavirus, and more than 98,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The number of new cases keeps rising in 18 states -- including Georgia, Arkansas, California and Alabama.

In 22 states, the numbers appear to be holding steady. And only 10 states are seeing declines in the numbers of new cases.

Track the virus in your state and nationwide

Some Americans took warnings from health officials very seriously -- wearing masks while in public, keeping their distance from strangers or celebrating the holiday weekend at home.

Those precautions are especially important because new research shows an estimated 40% of coronavirus transmissions happen before symptoms even appear.

And now that states have loosened or eliminated stay-at-home orders, "it is up to every individual to protect themselves and their community," said Dr. Stephen M. Hahn, commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration.

"Social distancing, hand washing and wearing masks protect us all."

'The disease can jump out at any time'

What used to be typical summer pastimes are now potential breeding grounds for coronavirus.

A cluster of new cases emerged after swim party in Arkansas. In Atlanta, several recent prep school graduates also tested positive for the coronavirus, including one who had friends over for a graduation party.

In Arkansas, one of the few states that never enacted stay-at-home orders, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the state seemed to be experiencing a "second peak."

Despite the warning, crowds gathered over the weekend in Lake Hamilton, Arkansas, where Karen Lee said many people decided to forgo masks.

"We're all just embracing it," Lee told CNN affiliate KARK. "I could get killed by Covid today or I could get hit by a bus or a car tomorrow. I am practicing proper hand washing and hygiene."

While coronavirus generally doesn't spread outdoors as easily as it does indoors, there's still a risk with any cramped crowd -- especially because the virus can spread by just talking.

And officials from the World Health Organization say those who ignore measures such as social distancing are at risk of seeing a resurgence of the coronavirus.

"We cannot make assumptions that just because the disease is on the way down now that it's going to keep going down," said Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO's Health Emergencies Programme.

"We need to be also cognizant of the fact that the disease can jump up at any time."

A hallmark of coronaviruses "is its ability to amplify in certain settings, its ability to cause transmission or super spreading events," said Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO's technical lead for Covid-19 response.

"And we are seeing in a number of situations in these closed settings (that) when the virus has an opportunity, it can transmit readily," she said.

And while the coronavirus might transmit less efficiently in high temperatures and high humidity, that doesn't mean it will go away this summer.

"You can catch COVID-19 no matter how sunny or hot the weather is," the WHO said. "Countries with hot weather have reported cases of COVID-19."

Where states stand on the reopening process

How officials are responding

To avoid resurgences, state and local officials are trying to enforce restrictions in place across much of the country.

Health officials in St. Louis County, Missouri, issued a travel advisory Monday after videos surfaced from Lake of the Ozarks, where hundreds crowded a pool party.

"This reckless behavior endangers countless people and risks setting us back substantially from the progress we have made in slowing the spread of COVID-19," County Executive Dr. Sam Page said.

Those who were in the area should self-quarantine for two weeks if they didn't practice social distancing, county officials said.

In Houston, authorities will enforce capacity limits after the city received hundreds of complaints over the weekend of bars and restaurants that were violating those limits.

In Rhode Island, police officers and park rangers were stationed at East Matunuck and Scarborough state beaches to ensure residents were wearing masks and following social distancing restrictions.

"It's definitely not the same beach experience," Department of Environmental Management spokesperson Michael Healey told CNN affiliate WPRI.

There will no longer be lifeguards on duty, parking will be limited, and access to bathrooms, changing rooms and concessions is no longer allowed, WPRI reported.

Your top coronavirus questions, answered

More than half of states investigating coronavirus-related illness

Meanwhile, officials in at least 26 states are investigating hundreds of cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, a condition doctors believe is linked to the coronavirus.

Those states include California, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas and Washington.

A CNN survey of health departments across the country identified more than 350 confirmed and potential cases of the syndrome, almost half of them in New York.

Doctors have said children who may have the syndrome need immediate attention and will probably need to be hospitalized immediately.

Symptoms do not look like the classic symptoms of coronavirus. They can include stomach pain, vomiting, fever and possibly a rash.

The syndrome appears to develop two to six weeks after infection with coronavirus and affects mostly children who were perfectly healthy beforehand.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 50300

Reported Deaths: 2748
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11920692
Lake5432248
Elkhart347058
Allen2902133
St. Joseph205169
Hamilton1665101
Cass16449
Hendricks1446100
Johnson1325118
Porter80238
Tippecanoe7599
Clark68144
Vanderburgh6816
Madison67264
LaPorte60527
Howard59458
Bartholomew59345
Kosciusko5704
Marshall5308
Noble50128
LaGrange4829
Jackson4783
Boone47444
Delaware46952
Hancock46036
Shelby43525
Floyd40444
Morgan33631
Monroe32928
Grant30926
Dubois2976
Henry29717
Montgomery29720
Clinton2893
White26810
Decatur25532
Dearborn25423
Lawrence25225
Vigo2478
Warrick24329
Harrison21722
Greene19332
Miami1922
Jennings17912
Putnam1728
DeKalb1674
Scott1639
Wayne1536
Daviess15017
Perry1459
Orange13723
Steuben1362
Jasper1332
Franklin1278
Ripley1277
Wabash1152
Carroll1132
Gibson1132
Fayette1057
Whitley1045
Newton10010
Starke983
Huntington932
Randolph794
Wells791
Jefferson782
Fulton731
Jay680
Washington681
Knox670
Clay665
Pulaski661
Rush613
Posey550
Owen521
Benton510
Spencer501
Adams491
Sullivan471
Brown431
Blackford402
Fountain352
Crawford330
Tipton321
Switzerland300
Martin240
Parke230
Ohio220
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union130
Pike110
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 62856

Reported Deaths: 3032
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin11433443
Cuyahoga8786393
Hamilton6563207
Lucas2889305
Marion274039
Montgomery237835
Summit2299209
Pickaway221641
Mahoning1907239
Butler176747
Columbiana135060
Stark1196114
Lorain109769
Trumbull103277
Warren94525
Clark79310
Delaware67515
Fairfield64317
Tuscarawas60110
Lake57022
Belmont56722
Medina56632
Licking56012
Miami50331
Portage48759
Wood47451
Clermont4537
Ashtabula44544
Geauga42543
Wayne37253
Richland3635
Allen34841
Greene3229
Mercer29510
Erie26722
Holmes2575
Darke25326
Huron2382
Madison2139
Ottawa16624
Sandusky15715
Washington14420
Coshocton1413
Ross1393
Crawford1385
Putnam13415
Hardin12312
Morrow1211
Athens1111
Auglaize1094
Jefferson1052
Muskingum961
Union931
Monroe8917
Hancock851
Lawrence820
Preble821
Hocking809
Clinton791
Guernsey793
Shelby744
Williams742
Logan681
Fulton660
Scioto650
Carroll643
Ashland632
Wyandot625
Brown601
Fayette550
Defiance533
Knox531
Champaign511
Highland491
Van Wert451
Perry411
Seneca402
Henry330
Paulding280
Jackson270
Pike270
Adams251
Vinton232
Gallia201
Noble130
Harrison121
Meigs120
Morgan120
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
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Angola
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Hi: 84° Lo: 63°
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Huntington
76° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 64°
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Decatur
Scattered Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 75°
Van Wert
Scattered Clouds
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Hi: 86° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 75°
Breezy, Sunny Saturday
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