As coronavirus outbreaks are gradually causing stains in many places around the world, the United States is one of the countries facing the influx of new infections.
Over the past 14 days, more than two dozen states have witnessed an increase in the number of new cases.
Of these, Texas, Florida, Arizona and California have become the country’s newest viral epicenters.
But while cases are clearly growing, state leaders and health experts are divided for a reason.
Here’s a look at these four US hotspots, alarming facts and figures, and theories that can help explain every surge.
How about testing?
First, it’s important to note that in the US, more effective testing played a role in counting climbing events. The number of Covid-19 tests currently being conducted is almost double that in April and May.
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But a positive level of tests tells us that testing cannot explain growth.
If a large number of tests are carried out, and the distribution of coronavirus is reduced, then a positive incidence rate will fall in tandem. The World Health Organization says states must have a positive incidence rate of 5% or lower for two weeks before they ease travel restrictions.
Even with test success stories, it is clear that infections in the south and west of the US are experiencing a particularly sharp surge in prevalence.
As of June 30, Texas, Florida, Arizona or California all fall into this category – and they all do not fit the bar.
After nearly three months of new cases ranging between 1000 and 2000 every day, the number of infections in Texas has risen sharply over the past two weeks, and up to 6,000 new diseases have been reported in one day.
The sharp increase in the number of cases was reflected in record high hospital admissions – reaching 5,913 on Monday – and raised concerns that state hospitals would soon be overloaded.
If this trajectory continues, Houston, the state’s most populous city, “will become the worst-hit city in the United States,” possibly competing with what is happening in Brazil right now, writes Peter Hotes, director of the Vaccine Development Center at the Texas Children’s Hospital, on Twitter. “I can’t understand how things are getting better on their own.”
Why growth? Many point to the leading role of the southwestern state in the fight against blocking measures.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott allowed his home stay order to expire on April 30, with almost all businesses, including bars and restaurants, operating at least 50% by early June. Last week, at the height of the crisis, the governor closed all the bars and ordered restaurants to reduce bandwidth from 75 to 50%.
“If I could go back and redo something, it would probably slow down the opening of the bars,” Abbott told El Paso KVIA-TV. “In fact, setting up a bar just doesn’t work with a pandemic.”
Packed restaurants and bars may also follow a different national trend: the average age of people diagnosed with Covid-19 has been gradually decreasing throughout the pandemic.
In some counties, people under the age of 30 make up the majority of patients with Covid, said Mr. Abbott at a press conference earlier this month, which “is usually the result of people switching to bar type settings.”
Parts of the state are also setting rules for face coatings.
Mask policy is one of the factors that distinguish states such as Texas from those with lower transmission rates.
In 11 states with established camouflage rules, including New York and Illinois, the number of new cases has fallen by 25% over the past two weeks. according to Philadelphia Inquirer analysisOn the other hand, in states where only some employees should wear masks, new cases have increased by an average of 70%.
The Florida order expired shortly after Texas on May 4.
While the state’s most populous counties, Miami Dade and Broward, were delayed until May 18, Florida still had one of the most aggressive opening strategies in the United States.
Disney property and beaches began to open by the end of last month, just as Americans across the country celebrated Memorial Day. Days in June, bars, restaurants, gyms and shops also resumed their activities.
Now in Sunshine, there is a jump in Covid-19 – over 8500 new cases per day were observed last weekend. According to the New York Times, the number of cases has increased five-fold over the past two weeks.
The number of hospitalizations has also increased, but the death toll in Florida has not yet reached such a sharp increase.
The governor’s answer about why this may coincide with what the White House said: more tests and more young people with infections.
Republican Governor Ron DeSantis said the lag in the “test dump” combined with transmission between the ages of 18 and 35 is behind the corresponding figures. He said that 20% of Floridians between the ages of 25 and 34 gave a positive result, and urged young people to be more careful, citing proms that ignored the rules of social distance.
“We emphasized the need to avoid three Cs, namely closed spaces with poor ventilation, crowded places close to many people, and close contacts such as talking at close range,” said Mr. De Santis.
But some experts say that even with testing, numbers still indicate the spread of the community associated with a lot of social contacts.
Former CDC Director Tom Frieden told Fox News on Sunday: “As a doctor, scientist, epidemiologist, I can tell you with 100% certainty that in most states where you are seeing an increase, this is a real increase. no more tests, it’s more spread of the virus. “
Mr. DeSantis was unable to take any mandatory measures to stop the transfer of Covid-19 – however, the mayors of South Florida, the state’s most affected region, are discussing the next steps.
In Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach, beaches will be closed for the weekend of Independence Day on July 4th. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Jimenez will also limit meetings to no more than 50 people with the necessary masks.
Arizona may be the region with the greatest excitement in America. In mid-June Harvard epidemiologist noted that the state had a higher incidence rate and percentage of positivity than in Brazil and Peru at that time.
Here, too, is a familiar story: a surge in the southwestern state is in line with the timing of its opening.
Republican Governor Dag Ducey overturned Arizona household order on May 15. Since then, restaurants, bars, casinos, gyms, golf clubs and pools have reopened. There were health recommendations, but there was no mandate to mask the face or ensure social distance.
As of June 30, the number of cases increased by 85% over a 14-day period, according to Covid Exit Tracking Strategy, On Saturday alone, more than 3,500 new cases of infection were recorded.
Arizonans between the ages of 20 and 44 account for the bulk of nearly 80,000 confirmed cases, but according to government data, 1,200 of its 1,600 deaths are 65 or older. Native Americans make up 18% of state deaths, but just over 5% of the state’s population.
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In addition to case counts, this is the rate at which they increase, as for health experts.
Arizona’s summer climate can exacerbate the problem, as many people choose indoor activities due to three-digit temperatures. Among the indigenous people in some households there is no running water, which makes it difficult to wash their hands frequently, and they live in areas with limited access to medical facilities.
In addition, local authorities began to insist on following health guidelines, including anti-blocking and, more recently, rallies against masks.
Due to this new outbreak, Arizona hospitals, which are in emergency care, warn that ICUs may soon be overloaded. There is already not enough space for beds: 88% of beds in intensive care units and 84% of hospital beds are occupied, according to AZ Central,
On Monday, the state health director announced that hospitals could activate “crisis management standards” that would allow them to prioritize patients based on factors such as their likelihood of survival.
Following criticism from public health officials and Democrats regarding his inaction, Mr. Ducei ordered bars, nightclubs, gyms, cinemas, and water parks to be closed for at least 30 days to “relieve stress” in the healthcare system on June 29.
Of the four states most affected by the revival, California is in many ways different from the others.
The order to stay at home on March 19 – the first in the country – is widely known for helping protect against losses seen in other large states such as New York and New Jersey.
But two months after Governor Gavin Newsome stated that the Kovid curve “might have smoothed out,” the number of cases rose sharply, reaching a record high in one day of new cases on June 30, with 8,086 new cases confirmed. Over the past two weeks, hospitalization has increased by 43%.
According to the Johns Hopkins University District, Los Angeles County has the highest number of Covid-19 cases in the country — more than 100,000 as of June 30th. Local health officials warned that one out of 140 residents might unknowingly become infected with the virus – last week this figure was one in 400.
California officials attribute this to increased social and family gatherings, especially among residents between the ages of 18 and 49, who make up the majority of positive cases in California.
Easing restrictions on closed businesses, such as gyms and restaurants, probably also played a role. State leaders also noted that many bars and restaurants did not follow social distance protocols and did not require disguise.
On Sunday, seven counties, including Los Angeles, were ordered to close their bars. Counties and cities, such as San Francisco, have completely changed their opening plans. Disney also put off plans for the opening, citing a lack of leadership from the state.
Virus clusters appeared in prisons, nursing homes, as well as in rural and urban areas.
In the San Quentin prison in the San Francisco Bay area this week, more than 1,000 cases of Covid-19 were reported among 3,500 prisoners after being transferred from the outbreak prison earlier this month.
Government data also show that a significantly larger number of Hispanics were infected: Hispanics make up about 39% of the state’s population, but 56% of the total number of positive cases on June 30th.
Major cities in California, like thousands across the country, also witnessed mass protests after the death of George Floyd – although we still have no data on how these meetings can affect the spread of the virus.
Reporting Holly Honderich and Ritu Prasad