And it’s not just because of more testing. The average number of daily new cases in the last week has increased by 21% compared to the previous week, according to JHU. But testing has only increased 6.63% over the same time frame, according to the Covid Tracking Project.
“We’re rising fast. If we just go back about six, seven weeks ago to Labor Day, we were about 35,000 cases a day,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, Dean of the Brown University School of Public Health. “
At least 73,240 new U.S. cases and 985 deaths were reported Tuesday, according to the JHU.
“I would not be surprised if we end up getting to 100,000” new cases a day, Jha said.
The wave hits all regions of the country. As of Wednesday, 40 states were turning in the wrong direction with at least 1
Missouri is the only state with at least 10% fewer cases, and the remaining eight states are relatively stable.
And with more cases come more hospitalizations and deaths.
Without change, ‘half a million people will be dead’
This month, 11 states reported their highest day of new deaths since the pandemic began.
“If we continue our current behavior when we start going down the other side of the curve, half a million people will be dead,” said CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner, Professor of Medicine at George Washington University.
Imminent threats to hospital capacity
Even after the establishment of a field hospital on the state fairgrounds, Wisconsin faces a serious situation with hospital capacity.
“There is no way to treat it with sugar. We are facing an urgent crisis and there is an imminent risk for you and your family,” said Prime Minister Tony Evers.
In Ohio, admissions to intensive care units have doubled since the beginning of this month, Gov. Mike DeWine said.
Colorado is also concerned about the capacity of the hospital as the number of daily new cases skyrocketed this month.
“If these trends continue, it would exceed the number of admissions in May,” said government Jared Polis.
“And the modeling suggests that if we do not change what we do, it will exceed all existing hospital capacity by the end of the year. This thing is moving fast and we need to change the way we live.”
The city and county of Denver have reduced the maximum allowable occupancy of restaurants, retailers and some other businesses from 50% to 25%, according to a statement from the city on Tuesday.
“Why we are doing this is sending a clarification to everyone that we have a responsibility to get our hands on this boulder again and start pushing it back up the hill,” said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.
A vaccine will have a fair distribution, officials say
Although 44 vaccines have made it to clinical trials, it may not be clear what works best – or any work at all – until they are approved and distributed to many people, an expert team said Tuesday.
“Protection against serious illness and death is difficult to assess in Phase 3 clinical trials due to the inevitably large number of participants required,” said the experts, led by Dr. Susanne Hodgson of Oxford University’s Jenner Institute, in a review in Lancet Infectious Diseases.
These data may only come “from large phase 4 trials or epidemiological studies conducted after widespread use of a vaccine,” the experts wrote.
But if a vaccine is approved, officials said they will distribute it quickly – though some Americans will have to wait longer than others.
“We are distributing vaccines accordingly throughout America at the same time,” said Army General Gustave Perna, chief of staff to the federal government’s coronavirus response, at an online event hosting the Conservative Heritage Foundation think tank.
“We want to ensure that there is a fair distribution in line with this priority,” he said. Thereafter, states will “own the actual final distribution and administration down to individual weapons.”
CNN’s Amanda Watts, Shelby Lin Erdman, Lauren Mascarenhas, Devon Sayers and Amir Vera contributed to this report.