U.S. hot spots see COVID-19 level off, but case counts stay high

July 29, 2020

New COVID-19 cases in Texas, Arizona, and Florida—the main drivers of a summer surge of coronavirus infections in the United States—appear to be leveling off. In all three states, the seven-day average of newly reported cases has dropped, according to an analysis by CNBC and a news report from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota.

Arizona has seen a 13 percent decrease in its seven-day average, Florida an 8 percent decrease, and Texas a 19 percent decrease. Hospitalizations are also starting to drop or level off, but daily fatalities remain in the triple digits in both Texas and Florida.

In a 24-hour period, Florida reported almost 200 fatalities and over 9,000 new cases, bringing that state’s total to about 440,000. According to Reuters, Florida now has the second-most COVID-19 cases in the country, after California. Florida had previously reached a record-high average of daily new cases of almost 12,000 on July 17.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, JD, said the drop in cases in hot spots was due to citizens taking the coronavirus seriously. "They’re wearing their masks. They are social distancing. They’re engaging in good personal hygiene," he said.

Meanwhile, Texas has enacted a statewide mask mandate, but governors in Arizona and Florida have not, instead letting mayors and county officials issue their own mandates at will.

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