U.S. sees almost 90,000 COVID-19 deaths from Memorial to Labor Day

Sept. 9, 2020

Instead of a summer lull in novel coronavirus cases, the pandemic quadrupled in case counts and almost doubled in fatalities between the Memorial Day and Labor Day holidays in the United States, according to a news report from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota. In the Washington Post, statistics show the summer of 2020 saw the U.S. fatality count go from just under 100,000 to 186,000.

Per the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 tracker, there were 24,257 new COVID-19 cases and 267 deaths, bringing the national total to 6,314,282 cases and 189,400 deaths.

By summer's end, New York, once the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, had an infection rate that had remained below 1 percent for 30 straight days, while North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Missouri had the most cases per 100,000 people, according to the New York Times.

"Thanks to the hard work of New Yorkers, our state has now gone a full month with our COVID-19 infection rate remaining below 1 percent," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a press release. "Our numbers have continued to remain stable even as we reach new milestones in our phased, data-driven reopening. As we close out this Labor Day weekend, I urge everyone to remain smart so we can continue to celebrate our progress in the weeks and months ahead."

The cases in the upper Midwest are partly linked to the 10-day Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, held at the beginning of August in South Dakota. According to a new paper based on cell phone data, the rally could be responsible for 250,000 of the new COVID-19 cases seen in the past month.

One of the authors of the paper said the 250,000 cases represent 19 percent of new cases seen in the United States between August 2 and September 2. The Sturgis rally was attended by 500,000 people in total, most of whom did not wear masks. The town of Sturgis also did not enforce any social distancing mandates.

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