At least seven states have set new records for single-day increases in coronavirus cases, prompting some to set new limits on possible “superspreader events” in the upcoming holiday season.
Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota and West Virginia all set records Friday in the number of new cases of the virus, NBC News shows.
Colorado registered 1,312 cases Friday, the same day, the Denver mayor announced both a tougher mask mandate requiring residents to wear facewear outdoors and a limit for gatherings in “unregulated environments”
“Over the last few weeks, we have been working hard to reduce our case loads and prevent hospitalizations from rising,” Mayor Michael Hancock said in a press release. “But we have to do more. With the holidays on the horizon, we need to take these further steps over the next 30 days and kneel down to do the hard work that needs to be done so that we can all enjoy this upcoming holiday season. ”
Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak
The mask mandate remains in force until further notice, while the limit for assemblies is until 16 November.
Idaho registered 1,094 new cases Friday, while Indiana and Minnesota each reported more than 2,200 cases, according to NBC data.
Idaho Governor Brad Little said Thursday that the state would remain in Phase 4 of its reopening plan after failing to meet the criteria for a full reopening for the ninth time in a row, the Idaho statesman reported.
Little encouraged residents to continue wearing masks and practicing social distance.
“Our personal actions work better to curb the spread of coronavirus than anything else,” the governor said, according to the outlet. “This is about personal responsibility, something Idaho is about.”
Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said she was “very saddened” by the increase in cases, though she said some of it can be attributed to more tests.
“Some of the things we might have thought were okay to do a month or so ago are much, much more risky today just given this level of virus spread around our state,” she told MinnPost.
North Dakota and New Mexico also broke daily records Friday with 859 cases and 812, respectively. West Virginia and Wyoming each reported nearly 500 new cases that day.
A spokeswoman for the New Mexico governor’s office called the rise in that state a “Covid-19 wildfire,” Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
“The virus spreads when people allow it to spread, and new Mexicans do just that,” said spokeswoman Nora Meyer Sackett.
In Wisconsin, health officials urged residents not to gather with anyone outside their immediate family.
“I think people need to think of all the things they do outside the confines of their immediate families as a potential place to get in touch with Covid-19,” said Andrea Palm, with the state Department of Health. “Now is the time to make the choice not to do these things.”
She added that dispersal in the community makes contact tracking difficult.
The rise in cases comes as the United States has surpassed 8 million infections and is concerned about what epidemiologists call a “third peak.”
Many experts have also expressed concern that the holiday season could trigger an increase in infections, with gatherings of family members and friends becoming “superspreader events.”
Dr. Sadiya Khan, an epidemiologist at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, told NBC News this week that as the weather gets colder, more people will start moving gatherings indoors.
Dr. Carlos del Rio, an infectious disease expert at Emory University School of Medicine, said there are “potentially six weeks of super-spreading incidents” between Thanksgiving and New Year.