The coronavirus is spreading faster than ever in the U.S., with the highest one-week average of new cases since the pandemic began. Thirty-eight states are reporting increases in the number of hospitalized patients compared to two weeks ago.
The situation is especially dire in seven states — Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas — where many intensive care units are near or at capacity. Average daily deaths have also edged back up to about 800 Americans per day, according to Johns Hopkins University. It’s a level not seen in more than a month.
In Utah, hospitals pushed to the brink are preparing to ration care.
Dr. Todd Vento, the top infectious disease doctor at Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, told CBS News, “I would say that if you don’t think that your daily actions affect others that you’ve never met, you’re wrong. Everything we do that circulates the virus eventually makes it so that it might get to someone who ends up in the hospital.”
In the Midwest, the surge has been especially hard. Wisconsin saw 5,262 new cases, according to state health officials, which is its highest daily uptick in cases since the pandemic began. Illinois saw 4,000 new cases, and daily deaths have risen 58.3%, the state Department of Public Health reported.
“We have got to reverse the trend and slow the spread of this virus,” said Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker.
COVID-19 cases in kids are also rising — up more than 14% in two weeks, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. And now, a British study suggests coronavirus antibodies might only last months — similar to those for the common cold.
The average number of new COVID-19 cases in New Jersey has jumped by more than 45% in the last two weeks. In the city of Newark, where the coronavirus positivity rate is topping more than 11%, new restrictions are in effect.
“It’s not panic. It’s calculated strategies to do what we know works here in Newark,” Dr. Mark Wade, director of the Newark Department of Health and Community Wellness, told CBS News.
Starting Tuesday night, all non-essential businesses and indoor dining in Newark will shut down at 8 p.m. until at least November 10.
Meanwhile, on the vaccine front, drugmaker Pfizer announced Tuesday that it plans to apply for emergency-use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for its COVID-19 vaccine in November.