PandemicsU.S. at “Critical Point”’ as COVID-19 Cases up Nationwide

By Chris Dall

Published 30 October 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States is setting new records as infections continue to spike in the Midwest and other parts of the country. A member of the White House coronavirus task force said Wednesday that the nationwide increase in cases isn’t just a reflection of increased testing. “We are at another critical point in the pandemic response,” Admiral Brett Giroir, MD, told NBC’s Today Show. “Yes, we’re getting more cases identified, but the cases are actually going up. And we know that, too, because hospitalizations are going up.”

The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States is setting new records as infections continue to spike in the Midwest and other parts of the country.

The United States reported 73,240 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday and 985 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 dashboard. A USA Today analysis of that data shows that over the past 7 days the nation has added more than 500,000 new cases, the most new cases seen in a week since the pandemic began in March.

A member of the White House coronavirus task force said Wednesday that the nationwide increase in cases isn’t just a reflection of increased testing.

We are at another critical point in the pandemic response,” Admiral Brett Giroir, MD, told NBC’s Today Show. “Yes, we’re getting more cases identified, but the cases are actually going up. And we know that, too, because hospitalizations are going up.”

Overall, there have been 8,836,861 confirmed US COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, and 227,409 people have died, according to John Hopkins.

Cases, Hospitalizations Surge in Midwest
Among the hardest-hit states in this latest wave of infections has been Wisconsin, which on Tuesday reported 5,262 new COVID-19 cases and 64 deaths, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). Those are by far the most new cases and COVID-19 deaths the state has seen since the pandemic began.

There are 1,365 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state, including 339 in intensive care units. Wisconsin hospitals are at 85% capacity, and state health officials worry the situation will get worse.

It’s a nightmare scenario, frankly, that this could get quite a bit worse in the next several weeks or months before it gets better,” Ryan Westergaard, MD, MPH, chief medical officer of DHS, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

At a press conference, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers asked residents to limit social gatherings to a circle of five people, the paper reported.

North Dakota is also seeing uncontrolled spread. On Oct 26, White House coronavirus task force coordinator Deborah Birx, MD, told state officials that the use of masks in retail establishments in the state capital of Bismarck was the poorest she’s seen during her nationwide tour of states, ABC News reported.

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10/30/2020 News & Commentary - National Security Pandemics, epidemic, health conditions | Homeland Security Newswire