U.S. reaches 5 million COVID-19 cases, experts press for bold steps ahead of fall

Aug. 11, 2020

The United States has reached another grim milestone in its battle with the COVID-19 pandemic: more than 5 million cases, with 1 million of those cases being confirmed in just the past 17 days, according to a news report from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota.

Though the seven-day average of new cases has trended downwards for the past two weeks— from 67,000 on July 22 to 53,905 on August 8 — a plateau of 50,000 new daily cases has been established this summer.

According to the Wall Street Journal, only 13 states reported higher seven-day averages of new confirmed cases than two-week averages as of August 9, including Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, and Virginia. In the beginning of July, 42 states reported such increases.

Major outbreaks in Texas, California, Arizona, and Florida fueled the current wave of the pandemic, but hot spots in those states have seen some cooling off. In Texas, hospitalizations dropped to their lowest reported numbers since early July, but the state is still reporting a high death toll, with almost 1,500 deaths reported last week.

Currently, the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 tracker shows over 5 million cases and more than 163,000 deaths.

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