The United States is expected to surpass 4 million officially recorded COVID-19 cases Thursday — and a quarter of that count has come in just the last 15 days.The country’s rising daily rate of confirmed coronavirus cases, along with near-record number of hospitalizations, signals the U.S. is far from containing a virus that is straining hospitals and labs, health experts say.”We’ve rolled back essentially two months’ worth of progress with what we’re seeing in number of cases … in the United States,” Dr Ali. Khan, dean of the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s College of Public Health, told CNN.About 59,600 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in the U.S. on Wednesday — roughly 300 short of the country’s peak recorded in mid-April, according to the Covid Tracking Project.According to Johns Hopkins University, the reported count in the U.S. is picking up speed: The national seven-day average of new daily cases was 67,429 on Wednesday, a record.It took the country nearly 100 days to count its first 1 million cases, from January 21 to April 28. It took only 15 days to rise from 3 million on July 8 to 3.98 million Thursday afternoon, according to JHU figures.Many COVID-19 illnesses went undiagnosed, especially early in the pandemic when testing was less available. The CDC has said true case totals are probably more than 10 times greater than official figures in most places. One study suggested the U.S. might have had more than 8 million cases in March alone.But physicians are sounding alarms about rising hospitalizations nationwide, and especially in the nation’s hot spots like parts of Florida.More than 50 hospitals there have reached capacity in their intensive care units, and only 15% of the state’s ICU beds are available, the Agency for Health Care Administration said.”Any spike in cases or increase in hospitalizations is going to put our ER system and hospital systems in peril,” Dr. Damian Caraballo, an emergency room physician in Tampa, told CNN Thursday.The spread has promised a bleak outlook for the months ahead, according to both health officials and President Donald Trump.What comes next is unclear: With now at least 41 states requiring face coverings, some have said strict measures like limiting gatherings and enforcing social distancing and masks can be as impactful as another lockdown. But others aren’t as hopeful.”Masks will help, but I think we need a lot more than masks to contain this epidemic that’s running through our country like a freight train,” William Haseltine, the chair and president of global health think tank ACCESS Health International, said.”Until we see major changes of behavior and until we see the public health services here stepping forward with many more resources, we aren’t sure of containing this.” Birx warns of concerning increases in 12 citiesWhite House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, meanwhile, has privately told a group of state and local health officials about a concerning rise in coronavirus cases in 12 cities.”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,” she said Wednesday, according to audio obtained by journalism nonprofit Center for Public Integrity.”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,” she said in the call.Separately, Birx said publicly Wednesday that a surge in new cases across the South and Southwest has been linked to Americans’ travel around Memorial Day and reopenings.”This epidemic all appeared across the South and the West after June 10 simultaneously,” she told Fox News. “We saw wide virus spread across counties, across rural areas, across small metros and big metros, all the way across the South, Southwest and West, almost simultaneously.Some U.S. leaders have admitted parts of the country reopened their economies too soon. And as they did, residents were too quick to jump back to old habits: crowding bars, packing beaches on hot summer days, holding barbecues and spending holidays with friends.Hoping to stem the spread, at least 27 states have hit a pause or rolled back their reopening plans. In Houston on Wednesday, Mayor Sylvester Turner spoke again in favor of a second stay-at-home order. In Los Angeles, the mayor said the city was on the “brink” of another lockdown.The latest numbersCurrently, more than 3.9 million people in the country have been infected with the virus and more than 143,000 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. More than 15 million people in the world have gotten the coronavirus.Another 1.4 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week Another 1.4 million Americans filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week, according to the Department of Labor.Four months after the pandemic ravaged the health of Americans, their economy and their labor market, the upswing in economic data is tapering off.A resurgence in infections and a rollback of reopening plans in several states is making it difficult for people to re-enter the labor force following the pandemic lockdown.Continued claims, which count people who have applied for benefits for at least two consecutive weeks, slipped to 16.2 million, down by more than 1 million from the week prior.Louisiana on track to hit 100,000 casesLouisiana, whose governor said earlier this month progress made in June against the virus was wiped out in weeks, is set to join at least 11 other states who have reported a total of more than 100,000 infections.Those include California (with the most cases), New York, Florida, Texas, New Jersey, Illinois, Georgia, Arizona, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.In Texas, the state broke its record for hospitalizations two days in a row this week, with 10,848 patients reported Tuesday and 10,893 reported Wednesday. It also reported Wednesday its highest single-day number of deaths: 197.And in Florida, more than four dozen hospitals reported no available ICU beds left over the weekend. But the governor said this week the state was trekking on the “right course.”On Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said parents should have the option of sending their children back to the classroom or having them learn digitally from home, adding the “costs of keeping schools closed are enormous.” Covid-19 could be 2nd leading cause of death in Los AngelesCalifornia surpassed New York with the most cases in the nation this week. With more than 420,000 cases, the state has seen a recent surge whereas New York’s reported infections have slowed significantly. California reached another peak in new cases, reporting 12,807 positive tests in a day, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday.On Wednesday, Los Angeles County health officials announced that the virus is on track to be the second leading cause of death in the county — with at least 3,400 fatalities in the first six months of the year.That would mean the disease will claim more lives than Alzheimer’s Disease and strokes, health officials said. Coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death, claimed 6,000 lives in the first six months of 2019.The news comes after the county reported 2,232 hospitalized patients Monday, breaking its own record of daily hospitalizations at least four times in a week. There were 2,207 confirmed cases hospitalized Wednesday, 27% of whom are in the ICU, health officials said. Meanwhile, San Francisco is on “high alert” after averaging 79 new cases every day this week and seeing a 23% increase in hospitalizations, Public Health Director Grant Colfax said Wednesday.Those two numbers play key roles in helping officials determine whether to pause or roll back reopening, Colfax added.Fauci: ‘I don’t see us eradicating’ virusAs states focus on reeling in the spread of coronavirus, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert says the world may never eradicate the virus, but may be able to control it with a vaccine and good public health measures.”I think with a combination of good public health measures, a degree of global herd immunity and a good vaccine — which I do hope and feel cautiously optimistic that we will get. I think when you put all three of those together, I think we will get very good control of this,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said, speaking during a webcast hosted by the TB Alliance.Earlier this month, the World Health Organization also said it is unlikely that the world can eradicate or eliminate COVID-19 any time soon.There are now positive results coming out of trials involving three different coronavirus vaccines, but even when a vaccine is approved, big hurdles will remain for distribution.And another hurdle: half of Americans wouldn’t get a coronavirus vaccine if it were available today because of a lack of trust, former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy told CNN earlier this week.”We know that distributing vaccines is going to be hard enough and if people aren’t willing to take it because we haven’t built enough public trust, that’s going to seriously impair our ability to build herd immunity,” Murthy said.Stop the spread of COVID-19To help stop the spread of the coronavirus, the CDC recommends wearing a face mask.Masks are required in public places in some states and businesses. Multiple major retailers have announced mask requirement policies as the nation continues to see a large number of cases reported in certain areas.The CDC also recommends you keep 6 feet of distance between yourself and others.Make sure to wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.For more tips on how to stay safe, CLICK HERE.

The United States is expected to surpass 4 million officially recorded COVID-19 cases Thursday — and a quarter of that count has come in just the last 15 days.

The country’s rising daily rate of confirmed coronavirus cases, along with near-record number of hospitalizations, signals the U.S. is far from containing a virus that is straining hospitals and labs, health experts say.

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“We’ve rolled back essentially two months’ worth of progress with what we’re seeing in number of cases … in the United States,” Dr Ali. Khan, dean of the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s College of Public Health, told CNN.

About 59,600 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in the U.S. on Wednesday — roughly 300 short of the country’s peak recorded in mid-April, according to the Covid Tracking Project.

According to Johns Hopkins University, the reported count in the U.S. is picking up speed: The national seven-day average of new daily cases was 67,429 on Wednesday, a record.

It took the country nearly 100 days to count its first 1 million cases, from January 21 to April 28. It took only 15 days to rise from 3 million on July 8 to 3.98 million Thursday afternoon, according to JHU figures.

Many COVID-19 illnesses went undiagnosed, especially early in the pandemic when testing was less available. The CDC has said true case totals are probably more than 10 times greater than official figures in most places. One study suggested the U.S. might have had more than 8 million cases in March alone.

But physicians are sounding alarms about rising hospitalizations nationwide, and especially in the nation’s hot spots like parts of Florida.

More than 50 hospitals there have reached capacity in their intensive care units, and only 15% of the state’s ICU beds are available, the Agency for Health Care Administration said.

“Any spike in cases or increase in hospitalizations is going to put our ER system and hospital systems in peril,” Dr. Damian Caraballo, an emergency room physician in Tampa, told CNN Thursday.

The spread has promised a bleak outlook for the months ahead, according to both health officials and President Donald Trump.

What comes next is unclear: With now at least 41 states requiring face coverings, some have said strict measures like limiting gatherings and enforcing social distancing and masks can be as impactful as another lockdown. But others aren’t as hopeful.

“Masks will help, but I think we need a lot more than masks to contain this epidemic that’s running through our country like a freight train,” William Haseltine, the chair and president of global health think tank ACCESS Health International, said.

“Until we see major changes of behavior and until we see the public health services here stepping forward with many more resources, we aren’t sure of containing this.”

Birx warns of concerning increases in 12 cities

White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, meanwhile, has privately told a group of state and local health officials about a concerning rise in coronavirus cases in 12 cities.

“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,” she said Wednesday, according to audio obtained by journalism nonprofit Center for Public Integrity.

“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,” she said in the call.

Separately, Birx said publicly Wednesday that a surge in new cases across the South and Southwest has been linked to Americans’ travel around Memorial Day and reopenings.

“This epidemic all appeared across the South and the West after June 10 simultaneously,” she told Fox News. “We saw wide virus spread across counties, across rural areas, across small metros and big metros, all the way across the South, Southwest and West, almost simultaneously.

Some U.S. leaders have admitted parts of the country reopened their economies too soon. And as they did, residents were too quick to jump back to old habits: crowding bars, packing beaches on hot summer days, holding barbecues and spending holidays with friends.

Hoping to stem the spread, at least 27 states have hit a pause or rolled back their reopening plans. In Houston on Wednesday, Mayor Sylvester Turner spoke again in favor of a second stay-at-home order. In Los Angeles, the mayor said the city was on the “brink” of another lockdown.

The latest numbers

Currently, more than 3.9 million people in the country have been infected with the virus and more than 143,000 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

More than 15 million people in the world have gotten the coronavirus.

Another 1.4 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week

Another 1.4 million Americans filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week, according to the Department of Labor.

Four months after the pandemic ravaged the health of Americans, their economy and their labor market, the upswing in economic data is tapering off.

A resurgence in infections and a rollback of reopening plans in several states is making it difficult for people to re-enter the labor force following the pandemic lockdown.

Continued claims, which count people who have applied for benefits for at least two consecutive weeks, slipped to 16.2 million, down by more than 1 million from the week prior.

Louisiana on track to hit 100,000 cases

Louisiana, whose governor said earlier this month progress made in June against the virus was wiped out in weeks, is set to join at least 11 other states who have reported a total of more than 100,000 infections.

Those include California (with the most cases), New York, Florida, Texas, New Jersey, Illinois, Georgia, Arizona, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

In Texas, the state broke its record for hospitalizations two days in a row this week, with 10,848 patients reported Tuesday and 10,893 reported Wednesday. It also reported Wednesday its highest single-day number of deaths: 197.

And in Florida, more than four dozen hospitals reported no available ICU beds left over the weekend. But the governor said this week the state was trekking on the “right course.”

On Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said parents should have the option of sending their children back to the classroom or having them learn digitally from home, adding the “costs of keeping schools closed are enormous.”

Covid-19 could be 2nd leading cause of death in Los Angeles

California surpassed New York with the most cases in the nation this week. With more than 420,000 cases, the state has seen a recent surge whereas New York’s reported infections have slowed significantly. California reached another peak in new cases, reporting 12,807 positive tests in a day, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Los Angeles County health officials announced that the virus is on track to be the second leading cause of death in the county — with at least 3,400 fatalities in the first six months of the year.

That would mean the disease will claim more lives than Alzheimer’s Disease and strokes, health officials said. Coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death, claimed 6,000 lives in the first six months of 2019.

The news comes after the county reported 2,232 hospitalized patients Monday, breaking its own record of daily hospitalizations at least four times in a week. There were 2,207 confirmed cases hospitalized Wednesday, 27% of whom are in the ICU, health officials said.

Meanwhile, San Francisco is on “high alert” after averaging 79 new cases every day this week and seeing a 23% increase in hospitalizations, Public Health Director Grant Colfax said Wednesday.

Those two numbers play key roles in helping officials determine whether to pause or roll back reopening, Colfax added.

Fauci: ‘I don’t see us eradicating’ virus

As states focus on reeling in the spread of coronavirus, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert says the world may never eradicate the virus, but may be able to control it with a vaccine and good public health measures.

“I think with a combination of good public health measures, a degree of global herd immunity and a good vaccine — which I do hope and feel cautiously optimistic that we will get. I think when you put all three of those together, I think we will get very good control of this,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said, speaking during a webcast hosted by the TB Alliance.

Earlier this month, the World Health Organization also said it is unlikely that the world can eradicate or eliminate COVID-19 any time soon.

There are now positive results coming out of trials involving three different coronavirus vaccines, but even when a vaccine is approved, big hurdles will remain for distribution.

And another hurdle: half of Americans wouldn’t get a coronavirus vaccine if it were available today because of a lack of trust, former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy told CNN earlier this week.

“We know that distributing vaccines is going to be hard enough and if people aren’t willing to take it because we haven’t built enough public trust, that’s going to seriously impair our ability to build herd immunity,” Murthy said.

Stop the spread of COVID-19

To help stop the spread of the coronavirus, the CDC recommends wearing a face mask.

Masks are required in public places in some states and businesses. Multiple major retailers have announced mask requirement policies as the nation continues to see a large number of cases reported in certain areas.

The CDC also recommends you keep 6 feet of distance between yourself and others.

Make sure to wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

For more tips on how to stay safe, CLICK HERE.

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