US sets daily COVID-19 record: 75,000 new cases

Medics at computers
Medics at computers

US National Guard, Isaiah Matthews / Flickr cc

The United States saw more than 75,000 new cases of the novel coronavirus, as hospitals in Georgia and Arizona are looking to nearby states to take on patients.

According to the New York Times, 75,600 cases were recorded by the end of yesterday, a record high since the United States first started fighting widespread transmission of the virus in March. The United States now has 3,612,045 cases and 138,840 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

National Public Radio reports that hospital workers in Georgia describe an imploding admission situation, with administrators calling hospitals in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida to check for bed availability. Per the Georgia Department of Public Health, the state reported 3,908 cases today, and 301 hospitalizations.

The news comes a day after Governor Brian Kemp said he was personally suing Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the Atlanta city councilover local mask mandates. Kemp claims Lance Bottom's mask mandate violates his emergency order, which prevents local action from being more prohibitive than the state's requirements, according to CNN.

Under Atlanta's mask mandate, not wearing a mask in public is punishable by a fine and even jail time.

"3,104 Georgians have died and I and my family are amongst the 106k who have tested positive for COVID-19. Meanwhile, I have been sued by @GovKemp for a mask mandate. A better use of tax payer money would be to expand testing and contact tracing," Lance Bottoms tweeted.

Arizona is also confronting quickly filling hospitals, and sending some patients to New Mexico for treatment. The Albuquerque Journal reports that now hospital beds in that city are filling up with sick Arizonans.

18 states in 'red zone' per White House report

The Center for Public Integrity, an independent newsroom in Washington DC, published a White House coronavirus task force document dated Jul 14, showing 18 states in the "red zone" for COVID-19 cases, meaning they had more than 100 new cases per 100,000 population last week. Eleven states are in the "red zone" for test positivity, meaning more than 10% of diagnostic test results came back positive, the Center said.

The document, though not routinely made public, is updated weekly and sent to governors. Both Georgia and Arizona are in the red states, along with Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.

The 11 states with more than 10% positivity were Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas, and Washington.

The document recommends most states in the red zone, including Georgia, mandate face coverings in public.

CDC delays school guidance

The CDC, which was supposed to this week offer updated guidelines on school reopening, said they would not be ready to make recommendations until the end of the month.

Governor Gavin Newsom of California said schools in his state on a county level COVID-19 watchlist will begin the school year with online instruction. Schools can only reopen for in-person instruction when the county has been off the watchlist for 14 days. About 30 California counties are on the watch list currently.

Newsom also said students in grade 3 through 12 must be masked when they return to classrooms.

The Kaiser Family Foundation today released a new report showing 3.3 million Americans aged 65 or older live in households with school-age children, and are thus at a unique risk if school reopens in the fall.

"Older people of color are significantly more likely to live with a school-age child compared to their White counterparts. Nearly one in five (19%) Asian and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander older adults live with a school-age child, as do 17% of Hispanic older adults, 13% of American Indian or Alaska Native older adults, and over one in ten (11%) Black older adults," the report says.

Other US news

  • USA Today reported today that millions of Americans had COVID-19 symptoms at the beginning of the pandemic, but were never tested, or tested negative.

  • 3M, Honeywell and Prestige Ameritech, are ramping up production of N95 respirators, according to the Wall Street Journal. The supply won't exceed US demand until this winter, when the United States will be producing 180 million N95 masks a month, up from around 45 million in January.

  • The CDC restored hospitalization information on its COVID-19 dashboard, after removing it earlier this week before a planned transfer of data collection to the US Department of Health and Human Services. The National Governor's Association yesterday said they objected to the move, and asked the administration to wait 30 days before making the shift.

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