While many countries are seeing a decline in COVID-19 cases, infections in the United States appear to be spiking, according to documents obtained by Yahoo News.
In a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention document dated June 9, the U.S. had the highest spike of percentage change in daily cases, with a 36.5 percent jump in recent days. Of the top 10 countries in total cases, that is the biggest spike by a significant margin, compared with drops in cases in Brazil, Spain, Italy, Germany and Iran and growths of under 5 percent in Russia, India and Peru.
A June 9 Federal Emergency Management Agency document shows the same spike in cases. The rolling average of deaths in the U.S., per the FEMA document, is starting to trend up over 1,000 per day.
According to tracking from Johns Hopkins University, the United States has had more than 1.9 million positive cases of the coronavirus and 112,000 deaths, the highest reported in either category of any country in the world.
As Texas continues to reopen, the state has set the record for coronavirus-related hospitalizations for the third straight day. On Wednesday, North Carolina reported a record high for statewide cases.
Cases are also spiking in Arizona, where the state’s largest health system said it is reaching its capacity for patients needing external lung machines. Earlier this week, Arizona’s health director sent a letter to hospitals telling them to “fully activate” their emergency plans.
“We don’t want people to be in crisis mode, thinking that everything is all bad in Arizona with the cases,” said Jessica Rigler, the state health department’s assistant director. “We are certainly monitoring what’s going on and trying to ensure that people understand where we are with COVID-19 in our communities.”
In California, meanwhile, Gov. Gavin Newsom has urged calm as the state deals with a surge in cases.
“As we phase in, in a responsible way, a reopening of the economy, we’ve made it abundantly clear that we anticipate an increase in the total number of positive cases,” Newsom said Tuesday. “But we also made it abundantly clear that the concurrent recognition and commitment that we are in a substantially different place than we were 90 days ago. We have hundreds of millions of masks now in our possession.”
Public health experts have warned that many areas of the country are opening too soon. Lenient social distancing policies in some states combined with Memorial Day weekend gatherings could be responsible for the current rise in cases.
There are also concerns that the massive protests following the death of George Floyd could help accelerate the spread in some communities. According to tracking by the New York Times, cases are rising in 20 states as well as Puerto Rico.
More than a month has passed since the White House’s coronavirus task force held a briefing, despite hundreds of Americans dying daily from the disease. On Monday, Politico reported that President Trump planned to restart his campaign rallies within the next two weeks.
“We were able to close our country, save millions of lives, open,” Trump said on Friday. “And now the trajectory is great.”
The June 9 CDC document noted the 10 counties that had seen the highest number of cases per 100,000 over the last two weeks. Of those counties, two were in Iowa and the others were located in Georgia, Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arizona, Texas, Minnesota and New Mexico.
Jana Winter contributed reporting to this story.
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