By Robin Foster and E.J. Mundell
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) — A third surge of coronavirus cases now has a firm grip on the United States, with an average of 59,000 new infections being reported across the country every day.
That tally is the highest since the beginning of August, and the likelihood is high that the country will soon see the most new COVID-19 infections a day since the pandemic began, The New York Times reported.
This latest surge differs from the previous two: Instead of acute outbreaks in specific regions, such as the Northeast this spring and the South this summer, the virus is now simmering at a worrisome level across nearly the entire country, the Times reported. Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming each set seven-day case records on Tuesday. Even New Jersey, which managed to bring the virus under control last spring, has seen a doubling in cases in the past month, the Times reported.
“It is a really dangerous time,” Dr. Tom Inglesby, an infectious disease expert at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, told the newspaper. “The majority of states are on the rise. There are very few places where things are stable and going down.”
Even more troubling is the fact that this latest surge is coming as cooler weather is forcing people indoors and many Americans report they are fatigued by months of social distancing and travel restrictions, the Times reported.
“We’re seeing spread virtually everywhere,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said during a news conference Tuesday. In his state, 69 of 88 counties are now considered “high incidence,” meaning at least 100 virus cases per 100,000 people in the past two weeks, the Times reported.
But instead of imposing new measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, Dewine said that, “The fastest way we can do it is not for me to issue some order that you can’t enforce or would be difficult to enforce, but rather for every Ohioan to take this seriously,” he said, grabbing his cloth mask and holding it up, the Times reported.
In North Dakota, which is leading the nation in new coronavirus cases per capita, hospitalizations and deaths are at a high, and just 20 intensive care beds were available statewide.
Luckily, the climbing case count has not yet translated to increased deaths: About 700 people are dying from COVID-19, on average, each day. So far, more than 220,000 Americans have died from the virus.
CDC Recommends Face Masks for Public Transportation
Seeking to slow the spread of coronavirus, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended on Monday that face masks be worn by everyone in all public transportation settings.
That includes both passengers and people working in stations, terminals and airports across the country, CBS News reported.
So far, the Trump administration has not issued any national mandate on face coverings, instead leaving that