US could soon see the highest number of Covid-19 cases ever on a daily basis, surgeon general says

An overflow medical facility set up at the Wisconsin State Fair Park in the Milwaukee suburb of West Allis received its first patient as the number of people with Covid-19 admitted to hospitals rises.

Posted: Oct 23, 2020 5:51 PM
Updated: Oct 23, 2020 5:51 PM

The number of Covid-19 cases reported across the country is rising so fast that US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams warns it could be the worst week since the pandemic began.

"This week, we will probably have our highest number of cases that we've ever had on a daily basis in the United States," Adams said Friday at the Meridian Global Leadership Summit on Global Health Diplomacy.

More than 70,000 new Covid-19 cases were reported in the US for the first time in the past three months on Thursday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Thursday was the highest day for new infections since July 24 and the day with the fourth highest total ever, at 71,671. Thirty-two states reported rising Covid-19 infections, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

So far on Friday, there have been 50,852 new cases, Johns Hopkins says.

Adams cautioned that hospitalizations are starting to go up in 75% of the jurisdictions across the country and officials are concerned that in a few weeks, deaths will also start to increase.

The good news, Adams said, is that the mortality rate in the country has decreased by about 85% thanks to multiple factors, including the use of remdesivir, steroids and better management of Covid-19 patients.

More than 41,000 people were hospitalized across the country, according to the Covid Tracking Project. This is the highest level of nationwide hospitalizations since Aug 20.

The number of people hospitalized has increased by 33% since the beginning of October, the CTP says.

Deaths are also creeping upward, with 856 on Thursday, Johns Hopkins says. The 7-day average of deaths continues to climb and is up to 763. That is the highest level of average weekly deaths in a month.

In White House coronavirus task force reports obtained by CNN this week, officials say there are "early signs of deterioration in the Sun Belt and continued deterioration in the Midwest and across the Northern States." And more state leaders have sounded the alarm on increasing infections, hospitalizations and deaths.

Study: Masks could save 100,000 by end of February

The University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation says the "fall/winter surge has begun" -- just a couple weeks behind Europe -- and will intensify in November and December before reaching a peak in January.

"Many states will face enormous pressure on hospital capacity and will likely have to re-impose some social distancing mandates," IHME said. "The best strategy to delay re-imposition of mandates and the associated economic hardship is to expand mask use."

The IHME said in another study Friday that if 95% of Americans wore masks in public, more than 100,000 lives could be saved through February.

The study notes that about 49% of US residents report that they "always" wear a mask in public.

At that rate and with states continuing to remove social distancing mandates, the US death toll could reach about 1 million by February 28, according to the study.

Just one state is headed in the right direction

Oregon is the only state whose Covid-19 statistics are trending in the right direction, according to Johns Hopkins data, which also show:

  • At least eight states reported record-high hospitalizations Thursday: Kentucky, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio ,Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
  • At least 12 states saw their highest seven-day averages of new daily cases: Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming.
  • And at least six states -- Colorado, Indiana, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma and Utah -- reported their highest daily case counts.

Health officials issued a stay-at-home order for all University of Michigan undergraduate students this week amid a spike in coronavirus cases.

"There's a little bit of Covid-19 fatigue going on," said university president Mark Schlissel.

"It's the undergraduate population. And the epidemiology of these cases shows us that they're not happening due to spread in our classrooms or in our campus facilities. They're happening under social circumstances, where small numbers of people let their guard down," he said on CNN's "New Day."

In Nashville, Tennessee, hospitals are reporting a 40% increase in patients. Hospital officials say a major surge of new Covid-19 cases could threaten their ability to serve patients with many diagnoses requiring hospitalization.

And in New Orleans, Mayor LaToya Cantrell said anyone not wearing a mask could get a $500 ticket.

Small gatherings, house parties helping drive the surge

In its state reports, the White House task force recommended "strong mitigation efforts," including "mask wearing, physical distancing, hand hygiene, avoiding crowds in public and social gatherings in private."

That comes just days after the group expressed concerns about small household gatherings helping drive the surge of cases.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday family gatherings are the top source of transmission in his state.

Experts fear the holidays might raise infections. Doctors worry that college students returning home could bring the virus, with large family gatherings for Thanksgiving and other events adding to the spread. Infectious disease experts say virtual celebrations might be best this year.

US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Friday that household gatherings have become a "major vector" of coronavirus spread.

"This is being driven by individual behaviors at this point," he told CNN's Jim Sciutto. "We've got to keep focused on washing our hands, watching our distance and wearing our face coverings when we can't watch our distance, and in particular being careful in household gatherings."

Remdesivir gets FDA approval

Meanwhile, the US Food and Drug Administration approved remdesivir for the treatment of Covid-19 infection, the drug's maker, Gilead Sciences, announced Thursday.

The drug, sold under the brand name Veklury, has been used under emergency use authorization since May. It's the first drug to be approved for treating Covid-19.

"Veklury should only be administered in a hospital or in a healthcare setting capable of providing acute care comparable to inpatient hospital care," the company said in a statement.

But earlier this month, World Health Organization officials said that a study had shown the antiviral drug has "little or no effect on mortality" for patients hospitalized with the virus and doesn't seem to help patients recover faster either. The WHO said the study provided "conclusive evidence" and the findings were disappointing.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 660071

Reported Deaths: 12531
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion904161633
Lake48298874
Allen35720633
Hamilton31970396
St. Joseph29796510
Elkhart25331412
Vanderburgh21192377
Tippecanoe19927199
Johnson16312356
Porter15917269
Hendricks15785300
Clark11913180
Madison11717315
Vigo11562229
Monroe10300159
Delaware9824179
LaPorte9739196
Howard9038195
Kosciusko8539108
Bartholomew7424147
Hancock7399130
Warrick7399150
Floyd7180167
Wayne6622191
Grant6413157
Boone606888
Morgan6066124
Dubois5890111
Dearborn544466
Cass542899
Marshall5414104
Henry541392
Noble508476
Jackson464165
Shelby459890
Lawrence4174111
Gibson400981
Harrison397863
Clinton394453
Montgomery385083
DeKalb384378
Knox356285
Miami356163
Whitley348435
Huntington341876
Steuben337455
Wabash330576
Putnam328259
Ripley326461
Adams322149
Jasper314843
White297152
Jefferson293773
Daviess285096
Fayette271156
Decatur270188
Greene260780
Posey260431
Wells257174
Scott250050
LaGrange240770
Clay240344
Randolph225376
Spencer216930
Jennings214344
Washington209927
Sullivan202939
Fountain201042
Starke187250
Owen181953
Fulton177937
Jay177528
Carroll176218
Perry173335
Orange170950
Rush164322
Vermillion160141
Franklin159135
Tipton145941
Parke138615
Pike127432
Blackford120527
Pulaski106544
Newton96531
Brown94839
Benton91713
Crawford90313
Martin80114
Warren75312
Switzerland7527
Union66910
Ohio52911
Unassigned0433

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 964380

Reported Deaths: 17183
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1114961198
Cuyahoga950781723
Hamilton72988958
Montgomery47128883
Summit39949954
Butler35292468
Lucas35069761
Stark29218837
Warren22294272
Lorain21904389
Mahoning19348540
Lake18307304
Clermont18271210
Delaware16347135
Licking14893199
Fairfield14449157
Trumbull14239460
Greene13520212
Medina13290219
Clark12194335
Wood11460193
Portage10928155
Allen10742233
Richland10226205
Miami9984187
Muskingum8125129
Columbiana8086182
Tuscarawas8003235
Pickaway800199
Marion7963137
Wayne7837218
Erie6826184
Ross6104136
Geauga6030129
Hancock5965112
Ashtabula5917144
Scioto5906104
Lawrence521874
Union508852
Darke5021123
Belmont488388
Huron4761117
Jefferson4756107
Sandusky474494
Seneca4640103
Athens460931
Washington458787
Mercer4577101
Auglaize454698
Shelby440368
Knox400486
Putnam3976101
Madison390947
Fulton377364
Ashland377195
Defiance3699102
Brown368342
Crawford356096
Logan352459
Preble351771
Clinton338564
Highland326255
Ottawa320867
Williams301077
Jackson288556
Guernsey285034
Champaign284445
Fayette267644
Perry266743
Morrow258624
Henry244865
Hardin243256
Holmes2428104
Coshocton232847
Van Wert228549
Gallia220746
Adams215132
Pike213627
Wyandot208752
Hocking193248
Carroll179828
Paulding159223
Meigs134636
Noble128442
Monroe115636
Morgan100434
Harrison100132
Vinton76615
Unassigned00
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