As the coronavirus surges, it is reaching into the nation’s last untouched areas

Then came October. Three residents tested positive, knocking Petroleum off zero-case lists, forcing the county’s lone school to close for a week and proving, as Sheriff Bill Cassell put it, that “eventually we were going to get it,” and that the virus “ain’t gone yet.”

That is a lesson people in many other wide-open places have been learning as the coronavirus surges anew. Months after it raced in successive waves along the nation’s coasts and through the Sun Belt, it is reaching deep into its final frontier — the most sparsely populated states and counties, where distance from others has long been part of the appeal and this year had appeared to be a buffer against a deadly communicable disease.

In Montana, which boasts just seven people per square mile, active cases have more than doubled since the start of the month, and officials are warning of crisis-level hospitalization rates and strains on rural health care. In Wyoming, which ranks 49th in population density, the National Guard has been deployed to help with contact tracing. Those two states, along with the low-density states of Idaho, North Dakota and South Dakota, now have some of the nation’s highest per capita caseloads. Even Alaska, the least-crowded state, is logging unprecedented increases, including in rural villages.

“People here make the joke that we’ve been socially isolating since before the state was founded,” said Christine M. Porter, an associate professor of public health at the University of Wyoming. “In terms of the reason this happened now and it didn’t happen before, it was essentially luck-slash-geography. It’s a disease that spreads exponentially once it’s taken root, unless you take severe measures to stop it.”

The bulk of these states’ cases are clustered in their relatively small cities, but infections are fanning out. In Montana, about 55 percent of cases were in population centers by mid-month, down from nearly 80 percent over the summer. And although the caseloads may look low, they loom large for local public health officials and facilities.

Sue Woods directs the Central Montana Health District, a Massachusetts-sized area that includes Petroleum and five other rural counties. The district has about 120 active cases, and Woods is working 10- to 12-hour days, mostly on contact tracing.

“The numbers of cases that we see are so small compared to large population centers, but when you take our population into account, we’re right in the same percentages,” Woods said. “Two of us are doing the bulk of the patient contacts. It is overwhelming.”

Some officials point to the positive side of being hit by the coronavirus later in the pandemic. It gave jurisdictions and health-care facilities the opportunity, they say, to collect personal protective equipment, ramp up testing and learn more about the virus and how to treat covid-19, the disease it causes.

“Up until a few weeks ago, we had been very successful in limiting transmission,” said Alexia Harrist, Wyoming’s state health officer and state epidemiologist. “It did buy us very important time to

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In hot spots around the country, hospitals are reaching their limits.

With the coronavirus spreading out of control in many parts of the United States and daily case counts once again setting records, health experts have warned that it is only a matter of time before the pressure on hospitals mounts to the breaking point.

In some places it’s already happening, with more than 41,000 Covid-19 patients hospitalized in the United States, a 40 percent rise in the past month.

Hospital administrators in Utah have sent a grim warning to Gov. Gary Herbert that they will soon be forced to ration access to their rapidly filling intensive-care units, and requested approval for criteria to decide which patients should get priority, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

“We told him, ‘It looks like we’re going to have to request those be activated if this trend continues,’ and we see no reason why it won’t,” the paper quoted Greg Bell, president of the Utah Hospital Association, as saying.

In Tennessee, the Maury Regional Medical Center in Columbia suspended all elective procedures requiring an overnight stay on Saturday to make room for an influx of Covid-19 patients. Most of the facility’s 26 I.C.U. beds are already filled.

Hospitals in El Paso, Texas, are preparing to airlift some critical care patients to other medical facilities in the state after a record surge of Covid-19 hospitalizations, according to a statement from the University Medical Center of El Paso. Gov. Greg Abbott has asked the federal government to authorize the use of a military hospital at Fort Bliss, outside El Paso, to treat civilian non-coronavirus patients, his office said in a statement on Friday.

The island of Lanai, Hawaii, which has gone from zero to 65 confirmed cases in the space of a week, is so worried about its limited medical resources becoming overwhelmed that it has decided to airlift any critical Covid-19 patient off the island, though so far no patients have needed hospitalization, The Maui News reported on Saturday. County officials are expected to issue a stay-at-home order and restrict travel to the island starting Tuesday, the paper said.

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US records more than 70,000 new COVID-19 cases in one day, reaching midsummer levels

The United States reported a total of 70,450 coronavirus cases on Friday, making it the highest single-day increase for the country since late July, according to The New York Times COVID-19 database.

a person in a blue car: US records more than 70,000 new COVID-19 cases in one day, reaching midsummer levels

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US records more than 70,000 new COVID-19 cases in one day, reaching midsummer levels

News of the massive case spike is the latest piece of data that may suggest the fall and winter wave that’s been predicted by doctors and public health experts is already here.


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Midwestern states and others across the country are experiencing a resurgence in coronavirus cases, with Wyoming, Minnesota, Wisconsin, West Virginia, North Dakota, Indiana, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado all reaching records on Friday for single-day increases in cases.

As of Saturday afternoon, according to the Times, Indiana and Ohio had already topped their previous records.

In addition, more than 900 people in the U.S. died due to the virus on Friday, bringing the total number of deaths to at least 219,100. The database has recorded more than 8,141,600 cases since the virus first hit the country earlier this year.

According to the database, the world also hit a record for new cases in a single day with more than 415,000 infections reported Friday.

The nationwide seven-day average has also increased by nearly 8,000 daily new cases since last Friday, the Times reported.

The data also shows rural areas are experiencing higher rates of infections than ever before, with North Dakota and South Dakota adding more new cases per capita than any other states have since the start of the pandemic.

Other states with large rural areas, including Wyoming, Idaho, West Virginia, Nebraska, Iowa, Utah, Alaska and Oklahoma, have also recorded more cases in a seven-day period than in any previous week.

The surge in cases across the country, especially in the Midwest, has prompted warnings from some public health experts that the anticipated fall and winter wave of cases is already here and is hitting with unprecedented force.

“We’ve been talking about the fall surge for a long time now. I think that is the beginning of that reality,” Scott Gottlieb, Trump’s former Food and Drug commissioner, told CNBC on Friday.

As the colder months approach, people will be driven indoors to get away from the cold in enclosed, heated spaces.

Respiratory viruses like the flu and common cold tend to spread more easily in colder, dryer climates, leading health officials to believe it will be the same for COVID-19.

“You can’t enter into the cooler months of the fall and the cold months of the winter with a high community infection baseline,” Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, said in a webinar Friday at Johns Hopkins University.

“We’re going to start doing a lot of things indoors, rather than outdoors, and that’s when you have to be particularly careful about the spread of a respiratory borne disease,” he added.

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3 Tips To Reaching Your Health and Fitness Goals With A Busy Lifestyle

Life has this sneaky way of creeping in and throwing curve balls left and right. Life will always happen. There will always be a busy day at work or family problems or relationship highs and lows or sick children. Once conflict arises, it seems like health and fitness routines go haywire. We seek comfort food or we just don’t feel like moving. These are the things that help us stay clear and balanced in both body and mind though! So what do we do when conflict smacks us in the face (and it happens to everyone so if you’re reading this – you’re not alone)? Avoiding the conflict is not reasonable because we can’t always control what comes at us. Figurine out how to navigate through any issues is what needs to happen to stay on track.

I think so many times we approach health and fitness goals with an “all or nothing” mindset. For example, you might think your day is ruined because you veered off of your diet with an unhealthy meal or snack. Or, you decided not to workout today because you couldn’t do the allotted 60 minutes that you had planned for. Instead of doing something, you may have chosen nothing at all. You gave up on day two of 30 days of clean eating. Do any of those sound familiar? It doesn’t have to be all or nothing and something is better than nothing. My tips below might give you some perspective on how to reach your health and fitness goals even when life throws you a curve ball.

My philosophy is nourish, movement, mindset. If we can work on nourishing our bodies, moving them mindfully and maintaining a healthy attitude, we can function a little better day by day, week by week, month by month and eventually get into the healthy habits on a regular basis that we need to achieve total body balance.

1. Nourish.

Focus on one small thing at a time. Start simple and work from there. Don’t expect to change your eating habits overnight. Small changes executed day after day, week after week and so on can lead to really big change. So pick one small nutrition action and practice it for one to two weeks before adding in a new change.

Examples: Work on portion control (without regard to food quality), add one colorful food in at each meal, take 15 minutes to meal prep tomorrow’s healthy food or omit your sugary after dinner snack (swap it out with a healthy alternative). You could eat slowly and chew your food completely or focus on balancing your meals so that you have protein, carbohydrate and fat at each meal. Omitting processed foods at one to two meals per day is also another great option. These are just some examples but it’s up to you to figure out which little step you can take to improve your nutrition.

2. Movement.

Take advantage of the time that you DO have. Carve out …

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