Florida, Texas pay price for reopening early as Covid-19 tally reaches record high, US cases cross 2.5M mark
US Surgeon General Jerome Adams said the rise in infections could not only be due to premature reopening but also because people chose not to safety guidelines
Some US states that reopened too quickly are now paying the price. Florida set a new record by reporting more than 9,500 new Covid-19 cases on June 27, breaking its previous day's tally of over 9,000. The situation in other parts of the country is also looking grim as the country crosses the 2.5 million case mark.
A similar situation is playing out in Texas as well, where coronavirus-related hospitalizations are seeing an upward trend for 16 consecutive days, according to reports. Both Florida and Texas have ordered bars to stay closed. “Effective immediately, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation is suspending on-premises consumption of alcohol at bars statewide,” Secretary Halsey Beshears tweeted.
“We are facing a serious problem in certain areas," said Dr Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, at a press briefing on Friday. Many states and territories are seeing a spike in the last two weeks, including California, Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Louisiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Washington, Colorado, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Mississippi, Missouri, Utah, Arkansas, Nevada, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Oregon, Idaho, West Virginia, Wyoming, Guam, Alaska, Hawaii and Montana.
“The harsh truth is that our current infection rate is on pace to overwhelm our hospitals in the very near future,” Lina Hidalgo, the county judge, told reporters Friday. “We opened too quickly.”
According to the US Surgeon General Jerome Adams, the rise in infections could not only be due to premature reopening but also because people chose not to safety guidelines. "In some places, it may be because they did in fact reopen too early. In other cases, it may be that they reopened right on time and that the governmental institutions and public health institutions did everything right but that the citizens did not have the will or desire or the follow-through to do the social distancing that we have recommended, and to wear coverings as we have recommended," he told Business Insider.
He also pointed out that many people haven't yet seen how dangerous the new coronavirus is. "As bad as the pandemic has been, most Americans still don’t personally know someone who has died or even been hospitalized from #COVID19. But most every American has felt the pain of the shutdown. We must acknowledge and speak to this reality," he tweeted.
Most of these cases are in the southern and western parts of the country. Fuelling the spread are young Americans, aged between 18 and 34, who are increasingly testing positive. Commenting on the shift in demographics, Fauci said: “A risk for you is not just isolated to you. Because if you get infected you are part, innocently or inadvertently, of propagating the dynamic process of a pandemic,” he said during a press briefing.
Fauci also warned that other US states are also under threat. "We have a very heterogeneous country, but heterogeneity doesn't mean that we are not intimately interconnected with each other. So what goes on in one area of the country, ultimately could have an effect on the other areas of the country," he said.