There were 105,927 new coronavirus cases reported on Sunday, marking the 5th day in a row that cases topped 100,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
With 42 states reporting at least 10% more new Covid-19 cases this past week, according to JHU, an emergency physician at Brown University warns that the United States is “heading into the very worst of this pandemic.”
“We’re about to see all of these little epidemics across the country, crossed and mixed, and it’s going to be an awful lot like pouring gasoline on a fire,” Dr. Megan Ranney told CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield Sunday.
Cases are currently raging at levels not seen at any other time in the pandemic. Sunday’s unprecedented number followed the other top four highest new coronavirus case days, with the record that was set on Saturday with 128,412. The climbing number of cases has brought the national total to more than 9.9 million cases and 237,574 deaths, according to JHU.
Ranney said she is worried to see what happens after people gather as they are expected to during late November and early December.
There are currently 56,768 people hospitalized with the virus in the US. And with the number of people hospitalized with the virus increasing — by 10,000 since October 30 — the Covid Tracking Project said the US could see a record number of hospitalizations in just a few days.
Where states stand
In every corner of the US, states are reeling from climbing cases.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert issued an executive order Sunday declaring a state of emergency and placing the entire state under a mask mandate and limiting social gatherings to household-only until November 23, citing rapid spread of the virus.
“Hospitalizations and ICUs are nearing capacity and healthcare providers will be unable to care for Utahns in the coming days if this surge continues,” the state of emergency release read. “We must take action now to protect our hospitals and healthcare workers and to avoid further devastation on our families, communities, and businesses.”
On Sunday, Illinois reported its third consecutive day of over 10,000 new daily cases, bringing the total to 487,987 cases and 10,538 deaths. And on Saturday, Idaho broke its record for highest single-day number of cases that had been set the day before with 1,403 new cases.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy warned residents to stay vigilant Sunday afternoon.
“We’re still in the middle of a pandemic and need everyone to take this serious,” Murphy said, in part, in the tweet. “Sadly, we are reporting four new confirmed COVID-10 deaths.”
And as the nation nears 10 million coronavirus cases, Texas is getting closer to reporting 1 million in the state alone with 990,930 cases.
The US needs to get more aggressive, former FDA commissioner says
With skyrocketing cases and warnings that the impacts will grow, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, said Sunday that the US needs to get more aggressive in the fight against the virus.
“We’re past the election — I think they need to focus on what we can be doing nationally,” Gottlieb told Margaret Brennan on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” adding that he does not think the only approaches are a dichotomy between locked down or not.
“We don’t need to shut down the country, close businesses, tell people they need to stay at home, to get some measure of control over this virus,” he said. “We’re not going to get perfect control over this virus — it’s a contagious virus. It’s going to spread, but it doesn’t need to spread at the levels and at the velocity that’s going to start to press the healthcare system, which is what we’re seeing
Gottlieb also advised President-elect Joe Biden to implement a strategy over the next few months by working with the National Governors Association.
His words mirror those of Dr. Jehan “Gigi” el-Bayoumi, a professor of medicine at George Washington University, who said Sunday that the Biden administration will need an “all hands on deck” approach to coronavirus.
“We are in a four-alarm fire, and we need to not only get everybody to stop the fire — stop it from spreading — but also figure out what caused the fire in the first place,” El-Bayoumi told CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield.
‘Age, experience and better drugs’ impact death rate
Though the death toll has climbed, the rate of cases that have resulted in fatalities has seemingly decreased, and Fauci said that is due to “age, experience and better drugs.”
As with all diseases, health professionals learn more about the virus as it goes on, including when to put people on ventilators, Fauci said Saturday.
“We just get better at treating people,” he said. “You (know) what works. You know what doesn’t work, including just fundamental, nonpharmacological approaches.”
The use of treatments that can help people, such as dexamethasone and remdesivir, has also further developed, he said.
Also impacting the death rate are the college students going back to school and being infected more, he said. Those getting infected now compared with the spring “is almost a decade difference of being younger now.”
“Ultimately, they’re going to wind up infecting people in the community, but they’re the ones that are sort of driving the infection,” Fauci said.