With the coronavirus pandemic entering a new phase in the US, world health experts shift focus to new hot spots

CNN's Erin Burnett speaks with Maura Lewinger two months after her husband Joe, who was 42-years-old, died from coronavirus.

Posted: May 29, 2020 7:41 PM
Updated: May 29, 2020 7:41 PM

As the US coronavirus death toll reached the grim milestone of more than 100,000 deaths this week, world health experts are concerned about new hot spots and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is projecting 123,000 coronavirus deaths by late June.

More than 1.7 million people in the US have tested positive for coronavirus and over 102,500 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projects that by June 20 the death toll will reach about 123,000.

The projection is based on an ensemble forecast of more than a dozen individual forecasts from outside institutions and researchers. The projections show a possible range of 115,400 to 134,800 deaths before the end of next month.

"This week's national ensemble forecast indicates that the rate of increase in cumulative COVID-19 deaths is continuing to decline. Nevertheless, total COVID-19 deaths are likely to exceed 115,000 by June 20," the CDC says on its website.

Meanwhile, as Americans continue reopening their businesses and returning to public spaces after lockdowns to stop the virus's spread, the World Health Organization is still keeping an eye on hot spots in other parts of the world

Among them are Russia, Africa, the Americas, some countries in South Asia and a few countries in Europe, said Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead for the WHO's coronavirus response.

"These are areas that we are concerned about because, as we know, as you know, when this virus has an opportunity to really take hold it can grow very, very quickly," Van Kerkhove said. "Any one of these could really take hold and take off very, very quickly and we have seen how this virus affects vulnerable populations, and that's a big worry of ours."

Live updates: Coronavirus in the US

Behavior that can make a difference

With neither a vaccine nor approved treatment available for Covid-19, experts say the best defense against a resurgence is public behavior.

Socializing outdoors, maintaining distance from others and wearing face coverings have been highlighted as best practices for reducing coronavirus transmission.

Face masks worn at home can help to stop the spread of coronavirus among people who live together, according to a study published Thursday in BMJ Global Health. Researchers in China studied 124 families with at least one coronavirus patient.

The study found that opening windows, keeping more than about 3 feet apart and disinfecting shared surfaces also seemed to lower the risk of passing the virus on to family members, even in crowded homes.

If a person wore a face mask before they showed signs that they were sick, it was 79% effective at reducing transmission, according to the study.

The masks proved only to be effective in the home before a member of the household showed symptoms, the study said.

But it is still an important precaution in all settings, because many of the people carrying the virus don't know they are infected, said Erin Bromage, associate professor of biology at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

"A standard mask, the ones that we've been making, cut things down by 50%. I wear it to protect you, you wear it to protect me," Bromage said.

Behavioral changes have already proven successful in bringing cases down in China, New Zealand and Australia, said Dr. William Haseltine, president of the think tank ACCESS Health International.

Understanding the scale of coronavirus in the US

Tools in the fight called into question

Long-emphasized precautions continue to be crucial to reducing transmission, health experts say, but measurements the US has relied upon from the start of the pandemic are now being called into question.

Maintaining 6 feet of distance from another person has been the standard in social distancing to reduce airborne transmission, but three experts have questioned if that is enough.

Evidence shows that aerosols can accumulate and remain infectious indoors for hours, so particles still in the air could be easily inhaled into the lungs -- even if people are standing 6 feet apart, according to the commentary published in the journal Science.

Meantime, both diagnostic and antibody tests have shown limitations this week.

Many people admitted to the hospital with severe illness need multiple coronavirus diagnostic tests, often advancing to tests from deeper in the respiratory system, before the test comes back positive.

Coronavirus antibody tests may be wrong half the time, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in new guidance posted on its website this week. Antibody testing looks for evidence of immune response to determine if a person had been infected in the past.

The tests are not accurate enough to make policy decisions, the CDC said.

The state of coronavirus

States have been taking varied approaches to reopening and also contending with different rates of infection.

As of Friday afternoon, 15 states were showing an upward trend in average daily cases -- a rise of at least 10% -- over the previous seven days, according to an analysis of Johns Hopkins University data.

Twenty-five states' average daily cases dropped more than 10%, while the rest were level or near level, the data showed.

California on Thursday reported its largest single day increase in confirmed cases since the pandemic began. Georgia also saw a spike in cases this week, but Gov. Brian Kemp attributed the growth to a recently submitted backlog of test results.

"I can assure you that (Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey) and I and our whole teams continue to watch that data," Kemp said.

Attractions geared toward drawing large crowds are making their way back into the US.

The Las Vegas strip will open back up June 4 -- though not without precautions in place.

"We're welcoming visitors back, but we're going to take every precaution possible," Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said in an online briefing. "We're encouraging visitors to come and enjoy themselves and have a good time."

In Florida, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced that beaches and hotels may open on Monday and Walt Disney World on Wednesday proposed reopening Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom on July 11, and EPCOT and Hollywood Studios on July 15.

Los Angeles County is expanding its reopening and residents will be able to dine in restaurants and shop in retail stores once again, including salons and barbershops. They must meet certain safety guidelines.

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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