U.S. sets daily COVID-19 record since coronavirus pandemic began, Texas halts opening

June 26, 2020

The United States reported 36,975 new COVID-19 cases in a 24-hour period, its highest daily total since the novel coronavirus pandemic began this winter. The cases piled up in states such as California, Texas, and Florida, with each state reporting between 5,000 and 7,000 new cases. In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott suspended the further reopening of his state, while Oregon, Nevada, Kansas, Louisiana, and North Carolina have also announced reopening pauses or delays in light of increasing case counts.

While age is still one of the biggest risk factors for severe COVID-19, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned that younger adults with co-morbidities can get very sick from the virus. A body mass index over 30, not 40, puts you at risk for severe COVID-19 infection regardless of your age, said CDC Director Robert Redfield, MD. Other risk factors include chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and type 2 diabetes.

Redfield and Jay Butler, MD, the CDC's deputy director for infectious diseases, held a media briefing to discuss new guidelines concerning who is most at risk for severe COVID-19 complications. They warned that 40 percent of Americans are obese, and 60 percent have at least one chronic health condition. Though risk does increase with age, that's likely because older Americans are more likely to suffer one or more co-morbidities.

Both the CDC and the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) released new models adjusting predicted fatalities in the U.S. The CDC's model, based on 20 national forecasts, predicts there will be between 130,000 and 150,000 total reported COVID-19 deaths by July 18. The number of new deaths over the next month is also expected to increase in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Hawaii, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah, the CDC said.

The IHME model predicts almost 180,000 COVID-19 deaths in the United States by October 1. The model also shows that if Americans universally wear masks, 33,000 lives could be saved. Currently, the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 tracker shows over 2,400,000 U.S. cases, including nearly 123,000 deaths.

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