ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10 / CNN) – Hoping to slow dizzying increases in the number of new cases, some states are suspending or canceling their plans to reopen.
Georgia is not one of them.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said on Friday, “I am in the spirit of letting individuals and businesses continue to make these decisions, as long as we continue to stick to them.” He also said he would “keep all options on the table”.
GA is experiencing record COVID19 cases. Hospitalizations have increased to levels we have not seen since early May. Governor Kemp said on Friday that he was not considering a public mask warrant and was not considering further restrictions. #MorningRushATL pic.twitter.com/jm2qFd5IYl
– Nick Sturdivant (@N_SturdivantTV) June 29, 2020
According to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center, Georgia set a new historic record for new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, with more than 2,200 new instances. It marks the seventh day in the past nine that the state has surpassed the April peak of new reported cases.
A wallethub.com survey ranked Georgia as having the second least improved health during COVID-19.
As July 4 approaches, authorities try not to repeat the scenes of Memorial Day, when thousands of people from across the country gathered on beaches, bars and parties while experts warn that the crowd could lead to spikes in business along the way. At least 12 states have paused in their plans to reopen in hopes of containing the spread.
In Texas and parts of California, bars have had to close, while the beaches of Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach have been closed to the public for the weekend of the upcoming holiday. In Florida, on-site alcohol consumption has been suspended in state bars.
The announcements come after a devastating week for the country, during which many states broke their new day case records and the United States also recorded a single day case record with 40,173 reported on Friday .
But these numbers may just be a snapshot of the spread of infections across the country, as a survey by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the total number of infections could be up to 24 times higher. than the one reported.
What happens next is unclear. Local and state leaders have promised to do everything in their power to avoid a second lock-up. But many have stopped removing the option from the table.
And as more and more cases continue to report an increase in the number of cases, the Secretary of Health and Social Services, Alex Azar, warned Sunday that the window of time to control the pandemic is closing quickly.
The increase will “get worse for weeks”
US governors have partially blamed their pushes on more widespread tests – but former CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden warned Sunday with more tests and better-prepared hospitals, “This virus still has the above”.
The increase in cases in the south is the result of reopening too quickly, Frieden said on Fox News Sunday, and “will continue to get worse for weeks.”
And the deaths will also come, he noted in a grim prediction that coronavirus deaths will be about a month behind in cases of infection.
Here’s how the cases are progressing now, according to data from Johns Hopkins University:
- 31 states see an increase in the number of new cases compared to the previous week: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan , Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
- 15 states are stable: Hawaii, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington State
- Four states are in decline: Connecticut, Delaware, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.
States end plans to reopen
At least 12 states have now suspended or canceled their plans to reopen, hoping this decision will slow the spread of the virus. Over the past week, officials and heads of state have repeatedly asked Americans to stay away from crowded spaces, keep their distance and try to stay at home as much as possible.
Washington State Governor Jay Inslee has announced that counties preparing to enter the fourth phase of reopening – with virtually no restrictions – will not do so yet.
“We all want to start doing everything we love in Washington over the summer and fully open up our economy, but we are not there yet,” said the governor. in a report. “This is an evolving situation and we will continue to make decisions based on the data.”
In Texas and Florida – both of whom alarmed experts with a rapid increase in the number of cases – bars were ordered closed for the second time after authorities suggested they were the driving force behind the coronavirus cases.
In a similar move, California governor Gavin Newsom on Sunday ordered bars to be closed in seven counties: Los Angeles, Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Kings, San Joaquin and Tulare.
He recommended closing them in eight other counties, including Contra Costa, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Stanislaus and Ventura.
Expert: masks can partially protect you against infection
As communities seek to progress again, another question: what about masks?
The requirements for masks issued by certain parts of the country have met with violent reactions from residents who claim that the warrants infringe their rights. Some business owners and law enforcement units have refused to enforce mask regulations. And many governors, although strongly encouraging masks through publications on social networks, have not made it a requirement in public spaces.
But the White House coronavirus response coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, pushed the Americans to wear masks on Sunday, saying not only does the evidence suggest that the masks “keep you from infecting others”, but that they “can also partially protect you from infection”.
The government has already raised this possibility, but has not emphasized this point. The CDC says, “cloth face covers are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but has no symptoms.”
Birx also encouraged young people to wear masks when they venture out, adding, “And if they interact with their parents and grandparents, they should also wear a mask because we now know how many of them are asymptomatic. “
© 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. CNN contributed to the story.