United States reports highest number of new coronavirus cases since late July, total soaring above 8 million

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Melissa Leaston Director of Nursing at Whittier Street Health Center samples Steve Rose from Boston at a COVID testing site in Nubian Square on October 15, 2020 in Roxbury, Massachusetts.

Matt Stone | MediaNews Group | Boston Herald via Getty Images

The United States reported more than 69,000 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, the highest daily tally the country has reported since the end of July.

The United States has now reported more than 8 million Covid-19 cases and at least 218,600 deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The surge in coronavirus cases comes as infectious disease experts warn the United States could face a “substantial third wave” of infections that will be further complicated this winter by the spread of seasonal flu, which causes many symptoms similar to that of coronavirus.

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As colder temperatures arrive in the northern hemisphere, more people will be spending time indoors and likely not following public health guidelines, creating a higher risk of the spread of the cornoavirus compared to activities outdoors, Dr. William Schaffner, epidemiologist at Vanderbilt University, told me.

The United States averages about 55,000 new coronavirus cases every day, based on a weekly average to smooth reports, an increase of more than 16% from a week ago, according to a TBEN analysis of data from Johns Hopkins. New cases have increased by 5% or more in 38 states as the number of infections in the Midwest continues to rise.

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“We need to pay more attention to this. We seem to forget that we are making progress, we are doing better, and then we let go and go back,” Dr Carlos del Rio, professor in the Faculty of Medicine at Emory University, specializing in infectious diseases, TBEN told TBEN on Friday.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease specialist, has warned for weeks that the daily number of new cases has remained “unacceptable” as the end of the year approaches. However, it is not too late to “vigorously implement” recommended public health measures, such as wearing a mask and maintaining a physical distance from others, Fauci told Johns Hopkins University on Thursday. .

When the United States came down from its first peak in April, the number of new coronavirus cases “stuck” at around 20,000 a day, Fauci said. Ideally, the United States would have reported fewer than 10,000 cases per day, he said.

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Then the cases resumed. The number of new daily Covid-19 cases peaked at almost 70,000 cases per day before declining again. However, new cases have since fluctuated between 40,000 and 50,000 cases per day.

“You can’t go into the cool fall months and the cold winter months with a high community infection base,” Fauci said. He added that the positivity rate, or the percentage of positive tests, “is going in the wrong direction” in more than 30 states.

– TBEN Will Feuer and Nate rattner contributed to this report.

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