Although many had hoped that the coronavirus crisis would begin to improve as summer approached, the CDC is predicting otherwise, and is forecasting more deaths for June. However, some states have already moved their re-openings into the 2nd and 3rd phases, opening more businesses and schools with some social distancing precautions.
CDC Projects More Coronavirus Deaths for June
The CDC has released new predictions, warning that, while the rate of death may have slowed somewhat, the death toll will continue to rise. These new projections, published Thursday, May 28, forecast about 123,200 deaths by June 20, with a possible range of 115,400 to 134,800 deaths.
“This week’s national ensemble forecast indicates that the rate of increase in cumulative COVID-19 deaths is continuing to decline. Nevertheless, total COVID-19 deaths are likely to exceed 115,000 by June 20,” according to the CDC’s website.
Numbers Continue To Rise
There are at least 1,711,313 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the US, and at least 101,129 people have died from the illness. On May 28:
- California reported the largest single-day increase in confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic, with 2,617 new cases reported in 24 hours.
- North Carolina also reported one of their highest days of reported deaths and hospitalizations since the pandemic began. Gov. Roy Cooper said that he believes the number of cases might appear to be rising because the state has increased its testing capacity.
- Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp believes that the recent spike in Covid-19 cases is likely due to a backlog of test results recently being released. The state currently has 45,099 cases and 1,963 deaths from coronavirus.
- “We had a large dump of test results from a private sector vendor over the weekend, they had a big backlog around 15,000 cases that tracked back to April,” Kemp said Thursday, May 28. “They dumped those all into the system over, you know, a two-day period, I think it was Saturday and either Monday or Tuesday, so we feel like that is the reason for the spike in the cases, I can assure you that Dr. Toomey and I and our whole teams continue to watch that data.”
- New York City has 16,673 confirmed and 4,742 probable coronavirus deaths as of May 28, according to the most recent data on the city’s website. But, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio the percentage of New York City residents who have tested positive is at 5%. This is an improvement for the city, as it’s the lowest percentage they’ve seen since the beginning of the pandemic. He is also confident that the city will begin phase 1 of the reopening process in the first 2 weeks of June.
New Coronavirus Hot Spots
As Americans continue to reopen their businesses, the so-called “hot spots” of outbreaks begin to shift. Cases are also on the rise in Alabama, Arkansas, California, North Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin, which on May 29 reported some of the state’s highest numbers of hospitalizations and reported deaths since the pandemic began.
The WHO is keeping an eye on the hot spots in other parts of the world including Africa, the Middle East, and certain Latin American countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.
Trump Cuts Ties With The WHO
On May 29, President Trump announced that the country will no longer support the WHO, because he alleges that China has total control over the organization. The US contributed more than $400 million dollars to the WHO in 2019, and is the organization’s largest contributor. Cutting ties means cutting funding to help find a cure for the coronavirus, as well as to help halt the spread of any future novel viruses.
“We will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and directing those funds” to other global public health charities, Mr Trump said in the White House Rose Garden.”The world is now suffering as a result of the malfeasance of the Chinese government,” he said.
He added that China had “instigated a global pandemic that has cost over 100,000 American lives”.
States Continue To Open Schools & Businesses
Although Coronavirus cases have been on the rise in some states, many continue to reopen in phases with some precautions:
- Schools in Arizona will bring kids back in the fall, with some social distancing rules in place.
- Florida’s Board of Governors approved blueprints for the safe reopening of college campuses. The blueprint is made up of five categories: a healthy campus environment, a healthy community environment, Covid-19 virus testing, contact tracing and surveillance, and academic program delivery. The blueprint will be used as a framework for the state’s 12 universities as they make their own individual plans for reopening in the fall.
- New Mexico is allowing businesses across the state, including hair salons, barber shops, gyms, indoor malls, and dine-in restaurants, to reopen. Beginning Monday, June 1st, some restaurants will open at 50% capacity, while other businesses, such as malls and salons, will open at 25% capacity.
- Rhode Island will begin phase 2 of reopening on Monday, June 1st. They will implement the same rules as those in New Mexico.
- Idaho will enter phase 3 on Saturday, May 30th, and will allow movie theaters and bars to open. Gatherings of up to 50 people will also be allowed but with some social distancing requirements.
- Texas Governor Greg Abbott is allowing outdoor sporting events to host spectators at 25% capacity starting Sunday, May 31st.
“Each professional sports league that desires to reopen must first submit a plan to the Texas Department of State Health Services,” Abbott announced. “Spectators are allowed for outdoor events, provided that outdoor venues limit the number of spectators to no more than 25% of the normal operating limits of the venue as determined by the facility owner. Spectators are not permitted for indoor events. Each plan must incorporate these minimum health protocols to the greatest extent possible.”
Raised Risk Of Death In Cancer Patients
Recent studies have found that patients who have cancer that is worsening or spreading were 5 times more likely to die within a month of contracting the coronavirus. “While it’s not surprising, it’s informative that it looks like patients with cancer have twice the risk of dying than the general public,” Dr. Jeremy Warner, who worked on the research and is an associate professor of medicine and biomedical informatics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told CNN on Thursday, May 28.
Other data showed that cancer patients who were sick with Covid-19 and treated with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin were more likely to die than those who weren’t. “This is early and evolving data, and more time and analysis will be needed to confirm and expand on these findings,” Dr. Jeremy Warner, who worked on the research and is an associate professor of medicine and biomedical informatics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said in a written statement on Thursday, May 28.