US returns to 1,000 coronavirus deaths in a day and officials warn pandemic will only get worse
(CNN)At least 1,000 American deaths linked to the coronavirus were reported Tuesday, and the spread shows no sign of slowing down.
The harrowing death toll comes as states across the country report record-breaking numbers of new cases. More governors are making masks a requirement as overwhelmed testing labs and hospitals are raising alarm. And officials are debating whether to send children back to school in person.
The only other time this month the country crossed the threshold of 1,000 reported deaths was July 7, with 1,195 reported fatalities. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, a quarter of all days this year have seen a US death toll exceeding 1,000.
Experts say the virus is now running rampant within American communities, and new data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also show infections could be more than 10 times higher than the number of reported cases in some parts of the US. At least 27 states have hit the pause button on their reopening plans or set new restrictions to help curb the spread of the virus.
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But President Donald Trump said Tuesday the pandemic is likely to “unfortunately get worse before it gets better,” a prediction that’s been echoed by other experts who have shared a bleak outlook on the next few months in the country.
Last week, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said the fall and winter will likely be “one of the most difficult times that we experienced in American public health.”
While some US leaders, including the President, have pinned the spike in coronavirus numbers on increased testing, it’s actually the prevalence of the disease that’s causing cases to climb.
A CNN analysis of testing data from the Covid Tracking Project reveals that the positive test rate — indicated by the average number of positive test results out of 1,000 tests performed — has increased significantly in many states that have seen the largest increases in new cases in recent weeks, including Florida, Arizona, Texas and Georgia.
Florida, for instance, saw an average rate of 35 positive results per 1,000 tests during the month of May. But in June, that number nearly tripled to 105. So far in July, the average rate has been 187 out of 1,000.
But Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday the state is on the “right course” in the fight against the virus.
“I think we will continue to see improvements, we just have to, particularly Floridians, have to continue doing the basic things,” the governor said.
Over the weekend, nearly 50 hospitals across the state reported no ICU beds were left. The ICU bed availability statewide stood at about 15.98% on Tuesday, down from about 18.1% Monday.
(Copied from CNN.com)
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