ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) – For the second time in four days, Georgia set a new record high for new coronavirus cases, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
While much has changed over the last several months, my priorities remain the same. To keep our state moving forward & minimize the long-term impact of COVID-19 on students, I strongly recommend that we cont. to prioritize public school education. #gapolhttps://t.co/I0X8mfFedu
— Brian Kemp (@BrianKempGA) June 23, 2020
Georgia is not the only state reporting an increase in new cases.
California recorded a striking 5,019 new cases on Monday — topping the state’s daily case record for the fourth time over the past week. In Florida, officials announced 3,289 confirmations in a day. And Arizona saw 3,591 new cases in a day. In Texas, health authorities have said new cases and hospitalizations are rising at their fastest rate yet — a rate that Gov. Greg Abbott called “unacceptable.” The state reported more than 5,000 cases in a single day, breaking their previous record.
Texas #COVID19 new cases and hospitalizations are rising at their fastest rate yet.
It will take all of Texas working together to reverse these trends.
Take the simple steps proven to protect you, your loved ones and Texas. Do your part for a #HealthyTexas. #COVID19TX pic.twitter.com/R5LXCpPIjS
— Texas DSHS (@TexasDSHS) June 22, 2020
They’re among 26 states — a number also on the rise — that are seeing new cases increase compared to the previous week.
In too many places, the pandemic is quickly “spiraling out of control,” one expert said.
“We were able to control and contain the virus because of these shelter-in-place orders. Americans sacrificed so much for that to happen, people lost their jobs, kids went out of school and that was to buy us time,” said Dr. Leana Wen, who previously served as Baltimore City Health Commissioner.
But instead, many places remained unprepared and reopened far too soon and far too quickly — leading to the latest surges. It’s a stark contrast with other parts of the world, including countries in Europe, which lowered their case counts with the help of longer lockdowns and have now begun to slowly reopen.
More than 2,347,000 have been infected across the U.S. with the virus since the beginning of the pandemic and at least 121,225 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. The country accounts for a quarter of both the world’s total infections and total global deaths.
‘Safest place for you is at your home’
The states with week over week new case increases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, include Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Abbott told Texans further state actions could be announced if the virus continues at its current rate.
“Because the spread is so rampant right now, there’s never a reason for you to have to leave your home. Unless you do need to go out, the safest place for you is at your home,” the governor told CNN affiliate KBTX.
He added the state is continuing to reinforce the ideas of mask wearing and social distancing in areas such as bars, which are often experiencing overcrowding.
That comes days after the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission temporarily suspended alcohol permits of at least 12 bars in the state found to be violating coronavirus-related protocols.
In Florida, officials have pointed to Miami-Dade County as one of the hardest-hit areas in the state but say patients requiring hospitalizations seem to be younger and less sick, according to reporting from the Miami Herald. One physician told the newspaper many infections can be attributed to community spread.
The observation echoes announcements by many city and state leaders in recent days — particularly in the South — which highlighted cases seem to be shifting to younger groups. In many cases, officials pointed back to instances including parties and bars as sources of recent clusters.
EU considering if U.S. travelers will be allowed in
Meanwhile, European Union member states are discussing barring visitors from several countries, including the U.S., EU officials told CNN.
The EU is working with member nations to decide which travelers would be considered safe to visit the bloc starting July 1. That criteria will be focused on the “circulation of the virus,” one EU diplomat said.
Officials will also look at a checklist that asks whether travelers come from a country that can “be considered as being in a comparable or better epidemiological situation as the average in the EU+ area.”
In a statement, the State Department said it advised Americans to continue checking the websites of relevant embassies for information including on entry restrictions and quarantine policies.
“We are committed to coordinating with our European partners and allies as we look forward to reopening our economies and easing restrictions,” the statement said.
States remaining steady
Meanwhile, cases in 10 states are holding at a steady pace. Those states include Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia.
Cases are on the decline in 14 states: Alabama, Alaska, Connecticut, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Vermont.
Experts have expressed concern that even states who may be seeing temporary dips in cases could begin seeing dangerous rises again as they begin reopening and more residents venture out.
In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted Tuesday beaches will be open for swimming starting July 1.
“Let’s keep playing it safe: social distance & face coverings, even at the beach!”
In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy urged younger populations to continue heeding guidelines as officials across the country report more young groups get sick.
“We’ve seen an INCREASE in the percentage of #COVID19 cases between the ages of 18-29,” he said on Twitter. “Do the right thing. Wear a mask. Keep your distance. Wash your hands. Don’t be a knucklehead.”
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