A new report in Axios indicates that the number of new coronavirus cases in the United States appears to be “leveling off,” and hotspot states like Texas, Arizona, and Florida are seeing a slowdown, though many still have not reached a “peak” in the number of infections.
“After weeks of explosive growth, the number of new infections in the U.S. is still climbing — but not quite as fast as it has been,” Axios reported Thursday, alongside a map that shows the majority of states now seeing their number of new cases holding steady.
Although the report is not necessarily good news — the United States, the outlet says, is still averaging a shocking 66,000 new cases of COVID-19 per day — the new information seems promising. Over the last month, coronavirus infections grew at a rate of 20% per week; last week, the number of new cases rose by just 7%.
States like Texas, Florida, and Arizona, where the virus has been “peaking” of late, are also seeing a slowdown in the number of new coronavirus cases, though numbers in those states are still climbing.
“New confirmed infections rose by 3% last week in Texas, and by 9% in California. Florida’s caseload did not change. Arizona saw its second consecutive week of improvement,” Axios reports. “Arizona was one of only five states to experience a significant decline in new infections over the past week, while 24 states, along with Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, saw increases of at least 10%.”
The United States is nearing 4 million cases of COVID-19, with almost a million new cases reported just last week.
Dr. Deborah Birx, an infectious disease specialist and a key member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, noted on Wednesday that federal government health officials are drilling down more closely, beyond states and into cities, to look for early signs that coronavirus infections are increasing, as well as whether that means death rates from the virus are also trending upward.
Government officials are also working with local agencies to ensure that cities that experience a slight increase in positive coronavirus tests receive federal support right away.
“There are cities that are lagging behind and we have new increases in Miami, New Orleans, Las Vegas, San Jose, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Columbus, and Baltimore, so we’re tracking this very closely. We’re working with the state officials to make sure we’re responding together, but when you first see that increased test positivity, that is when to start the mitigation efforts,” Dr. Birx told a call with state officials, per CNN.
The White House, which recently restarted daily coronavirus briefings, offered cautious optimism on the pandemic Wednesday.
“The virus is still with us, we have some states and metros with significant outbreaks, and we must take this incredibly seriously,” one White House spokesperson told media.
Author: Emily Zanotti