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article imageCoronavirus cases are rising in nearly half of U.S. states

By Karen Graham     Sep 7, 2020 in Health
Coronavirus cases are rising in 22 of the 50 U.S. states, a worrisome trend on a Labor Day holiday weekend traditionally filled with family gatherings and parties to mark the end of summer.
At the start of the long Labor Day weekend on Friday, the seven-day average number of new cases of coronavirus in the U.S. was 41,233, and the average number of new deaths reported was 851, according to a New York Times analysis.
This total number of new cases is nearly double the 22,580 cases a day recorded in the U.S. ahead of Memorial Day weekend of May 23-25. The Memorial Day weekend was blamed for the spike in cases seen in July. But Reuters points out that as little as three weeks ago, only three states, Hawaii, Illinois and South Dakota, were seeing a rise in virus cases.
But if a comparison is made with the two-week period of Aug. 8-22 and the past two weeks, 22 states, primarily in the Midwest and South, are showing a rise in COVID-19 cases. However, cases are decreasing in the three most populous states—California, Texas, and Florida.
Yet, the U.S. continues to see nearly 1,000 deaths from COVID-19 on a daily basis - with the total number of lives lost approaching 190,000 - the highest death toll in the world.
It's complicated
Determining the surge in outbreaks in various states can be complicated. Looking at South Dakota. Over the past two weeks, coronavirus cases surged 126 percent, with over 3,700 new cases. Health officials have linked this rise in cases to the thousands of motorcyclists who descended on Sturgis for an annual rally in August.
Cases are also rapidly rising in Iowa, with 13,600 new infections in the past two weeks, and North Dakota, with 3,600 new cases in the same period.
Gainesville  Florida: University of Florida: Sigma Alpha Epsilon House in 2018.
Gainesville, Florida: University of Florida: Sigma Alpha Epsilon House in 2018.
One reason for the rise in coronavirus cases the last two weeks can be blamed on the return of students to colleges and universities. In that regard, the country is mostly open for learning. More than 51,000 cases have been reported at more than 1,000 campuses.
Students who choose to violate college rules on social distancing and the wearing of face masks face serious consequences. Northeastern University in Massachusetts dismissed 11 students last week for violating safety precautions, and the students lost their tuition.
New York University, Ohio State, West Virginia University and Purdue have all suspended students over violations of rules intended to curb the virus’s spread on campus.
Dr. Anthony Fauci urged seven Midwestern states to take extra precautions over the holiday weekend. “There are several states that are at risk for surging, namely North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois,” Fauci told Bloomberg News last week. “Those states are starting to see an increase in the percent positive of their testing; that is generally predictive that there’s going to be a problem.”
More about coronavirus, Labor Day weekend, 22 states, Flu season, spike in cases
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