Average daily new coronavirus cases in U.S. hit all-time excessive, Gottlieb warns of ‘exponential unfold’

Shannon Axelsson takes a break from sitting on the seaside to be examined for the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) in Revere, Massachusetts, August 11, 2020.

Brian Snyder | Reuters

The common quantity of new daily cases of coronavirus in the United States is at a file — stressing native hospital programs and forcing new curfews and different restrictions in some elements of the nation.

With fall holidays reminiscent of Halloween and Thanksgiving approaching, the U.S. has now established its third peak of daily new cases with no indicators of letting up.

Over the previous seven days, the nation reported a mean of about 68,767 new cases daily, the very best seven-day common recorded but, in line with a CNBC evaluation of Johns Hopkins University knowledge. The seven-day common is up greater than 22% in contrast with per week in the past, in line with CNBC’s evaluation.

“We are likely to see a very dense epidemic,” former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb advised CNBC on Monday. “I think we are right now at the cusp of what is going to be exponential spread in parts of the country.”

The U.S. can be testing extra folks than ever, in line with knowledge compiled by the Covid Tracking Project. However, extra testing can’t account for the rise in cases, well being officers say, as a result of the p.c of exams coming again optimistic has elevated as effectively. About 6.2% of exams had been optimistic on Sunday based mostly on a seven-day common, in line with Hopkins, up from 5.2% per week earlier.

The U.S. reported an all-time excessive single-day spike in cases on Friday, when the nation reported 83,757 new cases, in line with Hopkins knowledge. Health officers have warned for months that cases would seemingly rise as elements of the nation entered the autumn and winter. That’s largely as a result of individuals are spending extra time indoors, the place the virus can unfold extra simply. Epidemiologists additionally say the virus might be able to unfold extra simply in colder, drier air.

More than 20 states reported record-high numbers of common daily new cases, and cases are rising by 5% or extra in 40 states, in line with CNBC’s evaluation. Many of the states with the quickest rising outbreaks are these in the Midwest and West, which didn’t report many cases of the virus earlier in the pandemic. Adjusted for inhabitants, the Dakotas, Wisconsin, Montana and Idaho are reporting extra common daily new cases than wherever else in the nation.

“We have one more cycle to get through with this. I know people are exhausted. It’s been very hard on families and on individuals, on businesses especially, but we really have two or three months of the acute phase of this pandemic to get through,” Gottlieb stated Monday. “This is going to be the hardest phase probably.”

As daily new cases skyrocket, hospitalizations are rising, too. Deaths, which lag furthest behind these different indicators, are starting to tick up as effectively. With advances in scientific take care of Covid-19 sufferers and new therapies such because the antiviral remdesivir and steroids like dexamethasone, well being officers say they can save extra Covid sufferers than ever. But with deaths on the rise, it stays to be seen how considerably the dying fee has dropped in the roughly 11 months for the reason that virus emerged.

Hospital programs in some elements of the nation are scrambling to shore up sources amid the new surge in infections and hospitalized sufferers. In Texas, El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego issued a curfew on Sunday, saying that hospitals and well being employees at the moment are “overwhelmed and exhausted.” The Salt Lake Tribune reported over the weekend that the Utah Hospital Association is asking governor to authorize standards for rationing care.

And in Illinois, tighter enterprise restrictions had been carried out final week in response to the rising case rely. The governor ordered the closure of eating places and bars in 4 counties and Chicago.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot introduced a curfew for residents final week, saying the town is at a “critical moment.”

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka introduced on Monday a collection of new restrictions on companies because the New Jersey metropolis faces a quickly rising outbreak. All shops besides supermarkets, pharmacies and fuel stations will shut at eight p.m. daily beneath the new restrictions. Restaurants and bars should finish indoor service at eight p.m. and outside service at 11 p.m., in line with the restrictions. The restrictions say that gyms should shut for a 30-minute cleansing each hour.

Andy Slavitt, former appearing administrator on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, stated the rise in cases in the northern elements of the nation is a preview of what’s to come back as different elements of the nation hit colder climate. He stated household gatherings through the holidays may show particularly harmful.

“As families consider getting together for Thanksgiving, they really need to think twice about bringing their elderly parents and their younger kids and college kids in contact with one another,” he advised CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Monday. “Because I think we’re about to go through our most dangerous time here in the U.S.”

The worrying rise in new cases come after White House chief of employees Mark Meadows acknowledged on Sunday that the U.S. isn’t going to manage the pandemic.

“We’re not going to control the pandemic,” Meadows advised CNN. “We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigations.”

Pressed on why the U.S. cannot make efforts to manage the pandemic, Meadows stated: “Because it is a contagious virus just like the flu.”

Assistant Secretary for Health Adm. Brett Giroir, who leads the U.S. testing effort, stated Monday, nonetheless, that “I think we can control the pandemic.”

He cited efforts in Arizona, Florida and Texas earlier this 12 months to deliver outbreaks there beneath management as proof {that a} coordinated effort to implement public well being measures can deliver the virus beneath management. He urged folks to regularly wash their fingers, put on a masks and to apply social distancing.

“The data are pretty clear that we can, not 100% defeat, but we can control it,” he stated.

—CNBC’s Emma Newburger, Nate Rattner and Abigail Ng contributed to this report.

Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and is a member of the boards of Pfizer, genetic testing start-up Tempus and biotech firm Illumina. Pfizer has a producing settlement with Gilead for remdesivir. Gottlieb additionally serves as co-chair of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings′ and Royal Caribbean‘s “Healthy Sail Panel.” 

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