Experts have warned this bout with the virus will be the worst one yet — and alarming trends are already pointing in that direction. In just one month, the country’s 7-day case average nearly doubled.
And when hospitalizations climb, deaths are likely to follow, doctors have warned.
“If more people make the decision to wear masks in public today, it could help to delay—or possibly even prevent—the need for future shutdowns,” he wrote.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Public health measures touted by experts for months — including face masks, social distancing and regular hand washing — can help hold the virus down.
Health resources ‘stretched beyond belief’
At least 36 states are reporting more new cases than the previous week while only five — Alabama, Hawaii, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Tennessee — are reporting a decline, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
In Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont announced new guidelines including limiting restaurants to 50% capacity, with no more than eight people at a table and limiting indoor event spaces and theaters, among other restrictions. Lamont also recommended residents stay home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., a move he said would help limit socializing.
Meanwhile in West Virginia, the governor sounded the alarm on the state’s infection rate and the resources stretched thin.
“When it boils right down to it, what I have done now I’ve taken an even more drastic step in trying to provide testing and our National Guard, local health departments are now being tested beyond belief and being stretched beyond belief,” Gov. Jim Justice said.
The city of El Paso, Texas, set another record on number of hospitalizations Tuesday as the city’s Covid-19 dashboard reported there are 998 people in the hospital. The city reported 1,085 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases to 52,817, according to the dashboard.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a motion for a temporary injunction “to stop El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego’s unlawful lockdown order, which flies in the face of Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive orders on COVID-19,” according to a news release from Paxton’s office.
“Judge Samaniego has no authority to flout Gov. Abbott’s executive orders by shutting down businesses in El Paso County,” said Paxton in the release.
A hearing on the motion is scheduled for Wednesday.
CDC: People who have Covid-19 or who were exposed can go vote
“In-person voting can be carried out safely following CDC’s recommendations for polling location and voters,” a CDC spokesperson wrote in a Monday email.
Voters who are sick or in quarantine should let poll workers know when arriving at the polling location and also wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet from others, and wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before and after voting.
Poll workers who are assisting voters with symptoms should be provided with personal protective equipment and trained on how to use it properly.
“When possible, alternative voting options — which minimize contact between voters and poll workers — should be made available for people with Covid-19, those who have symptoms of Covid-19, and those who have been exposed,” the CDC spokesperson said.
The way Americans follow the results will also be starkly different given that health experts recommended against large gatherings. Massive election parties have largely been canceled as the CDC has said large in-person gatherings are of the highest risk.
Covid-19 child cases see highest one week spike
Meanwhile, more bad news, this time on Covid-19 cases in children.
Covid-19 case counts across the US are impacting children at “unprecedented levels,” according to numbers released Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association, which track data reported by state health departments.
There were 61,000 new cases in children during the last week of October, “which is larger than any previous week in the pandemic,” the AAP said in a statement.
And since the start of the pandemic through October 29, more than 853,000 children have tested positive for the virus, the AAP said. Nearly 200,000 of those cases were during the month of October.
That number is likely an undercount as symptoms in children can often be mild and look like common colds or viruses and many children go untested.
CNN’s Amanda Watts, Naomi Thomas, Sandee LaMotte, Gregory Lemos and Evan Simko-Bednarski contributed to this report.