US coronavirus cases hit highest 7-day average since the pandemic began

Health experts say the resurgence of cases they have warned would strike in the fall and winter months is here and that it could be worse than the US has seen so far. Surging numbers in the US — where there have been a total of more than 8.6 million infections and 225,230 people have died — show the nation is at a “dangerous tipping point,” former US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CBS News on Sunday.

The seven-day average of new cases has been creeping closer to the previous peak of the pandemic of 67,200 cases on July 22. The past week saw a new record with an average of 68,767 new cases every day.

“We’re entering what’s going to be the steep slope of the curve, of the epidemic curve,” Gottlieb told CBS’s Margaret Brennan on “Face the Nation.”

Though cases are surging across the country, Gottlieb said things are going to start looking worse over the next two or three weeks. He said he doesn’t foresee the implementation of forceful policy intervention that could curb the spread.

“If we don’t do that, if we miss this window, this is going to continue to accelerate and it’s going to be more difficult to get under control,” he said.

A national mask mandate could be a necessary inconvenience

A national mask mandate could be a way of getting the virus under control, Gottlieb wrote in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal. The article’s headline is “Winter Is Coming: Time for a Mask Mandate.”

“A mandate can be expressly limited to the next two months,” Gottlieb wrote, adding that it’s easier to wear a mask in the winter than the summer. “The inconvenience would allow the country to preserve health-care capacity and keep more schools and businesses open.”

With deaths expected to rise this winter, policymakers will have to make moves to slow the spread, Gottlieb wrote. There already is no support for reinstating the stay-at-home orders from the spring.

US should consider national mask mandate for the winter, former USDA commissioner writes in op-ed

If 95% of Americans wore masks in public, more than 100,000 lives could be saved in the United States through February, according to data released Friday by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

“If people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Friday.

Gottlieb wrote the concern about needing fines to enforce the mandate leading to confrontations with police isn’t necessarily true.

“States should be able to choose how to enforce a mandate, but the goal should be to make masks a social and cultural norm, not a political statement,” he wrote. “Mandating masks has become divisive only because it was framed that way by some politicians and commentators.”

State leaders back on guard

No state is currently reporting above a 10% improvement in coronavirus cases in the last week compared to the week before. And as the

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New cases reported Friday are second highest since the pandemic began



a person standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: After changing PPE, an LPN dons her face shield at an Aveanna Healthcare and Fallon Ambulance walk-up COVID-19 testing site during the continuing coronavirus pandemic in Lynn, MA on Oct. 19, 2020. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)


© Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
After changing PPE, an LPN dons her face shield at an Aveanna Healthcare and Fallon Ambulance walk-up COVID-19 testing site during the continuing coronavirus pandemic in Lynn, MA on Oct. 19, 2020. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

The number of new coronavirus cases across the United States surpassed 75,000 on Friday, not long after the US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams warned it could be the worst week since the pandemic began.

The daily case count on Friday hit 77,289, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. That’s the second-highest number of cases reported in a single day since the pandemic began. The highest day for new infections was on July 16 with 77,362 cases.

“This week, we will probably have our highest number of cases that we’ve ever had on a daily basis in the United States,” Adams said earlier on Friday at the Meridian Global Leadership Summit on Global Health Diplomacy.

Friday’s case tally continues the trend from Thursday when the US reported more than 70,000 new infections. Thirty-two states have been reporting rising Covid-19 infections and cases were holding steady in 17 more, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

Adams cautioned that hospitalizations are starting to go up in 75% of the jurisdictions across the country and officials are concerned that in a few weeks, deaths will also start to increase.

The good news, Adams said, is that the mortality rate in the country has decreased by about 85% thanks to multiple factors, including the use of remdesivir, steroids and better management of Covid-19 patients.

More than 41,000 people were hospitalized across the country, according to the Covid Tracking Project. This is the highest level of nationwide hospitalizations since Aug 20.

The number of people hospitalized has increased by 33% since the beginning of October, the CTP says.

Deaths are also creeping upward, with 856 on Thursday, Johns Hopkins says. The 7-day average of deaths continues to climb and is up to 763. That is the highest level of average weekly deaths in a month.

In White House coronavirus task force reports obtained by CNN this week, officials say there are “early signs of deterioration in the Sun Belt and continued deterioration in the Midwest and across the Northern States.” And more state leaders have sounded the alarm on increasing infections, hospitalizations and deaths.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said Friday that he’s concerned about a massive surge in Covid-19 cases across the country and urged people to “double down” on measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

“The upticks on the map of more than 30 States that are having upticks is not going to spontaneously turn around unless we do something about it,” Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN’s Erin Burnett.

Fauci has previously said he doesn’t think a federal mask mandate would work but on Friday he said

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