The U.S. reported more than 45,000 cases of coronavirus on Friday, a record breaking increase, as some of the hardest-hit states begin to pause or roll back their reopening plans, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
There were 45,255 additional Covid-19 cases reported across the nation on Friday, bringing the total to more than 2.46 million cases, according to Johns Hopkins data. As of Friday, the U.S.’ seven-day average of new cases increased more than 41% compared with a week ago.
On Saturday, the number of people infected with the coronavirus surpassed 2.5 million, the most infections for any country across the globe, according to Johns Hopkins data.
Cases are growing by 5% or more based on a seven-day average in 34 states across the U.S., including Arizona, Texas, California, Florida and Nevada.
“There are more cases. There are more hospitalizations in some of those places and soon you’ll be seeing more deaths,” White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said in an interview with CNBC’s Meg Tirrell on Friday that was aired by the Milken Institute.
“Even though the deaths are coming down as a country, that doesn’t mean that you’re not going to start seeing them coming up now,” he said.
Deaths caused by Covid-19 lag behind other data points such as hospitalizations, which lag confirmed infections as the disease can take weeks to fully develop in a person. Hospitalizations due to Covid-19 were growing in 14 states as of Friday, according to a CNBC analysis of Covid Tracking Project data.
On Friday, the White House coronavirus task force warned younger people, who they say are driving new infections, that they may not be as vulnerable to serious disease but could infect someone who is.
“If there’s one message that comes through today I hope it is saying to younger Americans in these states, and in these counties in particular, that they are a big part of the numbers that we are seeing in new cases,” Vice President Mike Pence said at a press briefing.
Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, added that the coronavirus poses a greater risk to those with underlying health conditions, such as diabetes and significant obesity, which span every age group.
While the rise in daily case numbers could reflect increased testing in certain locations, some states are reporting higher positivity rates. The positivity rate indicates the percentage of tests that come back positive in a specific region. Epidemiologists say this number can indicate how broadly the virus is spreading throughout a community.
California’s positivity rate has increased to more than 5% over the last two weeks as the state reports record increases in daily new cases. Texas’ positivity rate exceeded 10% on Wednesday, which is a level that raises a “warning flag,” according to Gov. Greg Abbott. Arizona’s rate is now averaging above 11%, according to the state’s department of health.
On Saturday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced that the state would halt some of its counties from moving into “Phase 4” of the state’s reopening plan as the coronavirus shows signs of accelerating.
The state is taking a phrased approach to reopening, allowing some counties to reopen before others. “Phase 4” of the state’s reopening plan would resume recreational activities and would allow for gatherings of more than 50 people, according to the state’s plan.
A county in phase 4 would also be allowed to reopen its nightclubs, concert venues and large sporting events, according to the state’s plan. Eight of the state’s 39 counties were prepared to move into phase 4, according to the order.
An employee sweeps inside a closed bar in Austin, Texas, June 26, 2020.
Sergio Flores | AFP | Getty Images
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday ordered all licensed hospitals in hard-hit Bexar, Dallas, Harris and Travis counties to postpone elective procedures in order to protect hospital capacity for Covid-19 patients. Those counties include the state’s largest cities — Houston, San Antonio, Dallas and Austin.
As of Friday, Texas reported a 57% increase in hospitalizations, based on a seven-day average, compared with one week ago. It’s average number of daily cases grew by nearly 70%, according to John Hopkins data.
Abbott said he would roll back some of the state’s reopening plan on Friday, closing the state’s bars and reducing the capacity for indoor dining, among other modifications and closures.
“As I said from the start, if the positivity rate rose above 10%, the State of Texas would take further action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” Abbott said in a press release.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said on Thursday that the state’s hospitals are seeing additional stress and are “likely to hit surge capacity very soon.” The state’s health department reported more than 3,500 new cases on Saturday, nearing the record daily peak set on Tuesday.
As of Friday, Arizona reported a 36% increase in hospitalizations, based on a seven-day average, compared with one week ago. It’s average number of daily cases grew by more than 42%, according to John Hopkins data.
“Covid-19 is widespread in Arizona. It’s in all 15 of our counties. It’s growing, and it’s growing fast across all age groups and demographics. Anyone can get this virus, and anyone can spread this virus,” he said at a press conference.
If the state’s reopening were a traffic light, Ducey said that it would be in the “yellow” or “yield” position.
Florida has banned drinking at bars again in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The state reported more than 9,600 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, the second day of record breaking new cases, according to the state’s health department.
Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Thursday that the state doesn’t have plans for continuing its step-by-step reopening plan. He added that the state “never anticipated” continuing to move forward at this point.
“We are where we are. I didn’t say we were going to go on to the next phase,” DeSantis said at a news briefing.
On Thursday, the city of Miami issued a mandate requiring facial coverings be worn in public at all times until further notice. Those who defy the order could be fined $50 and face court appearances for repeated offenses.
“All options have to be on the table. When we see our hospitalizations go up, our ICU beds go up, our ventilators are going up. Still with sufficient capacity, but going up. It’s worrisome,” Miami Mayor Francis Suarez told CNN on Friday when asked whether he would consider instituting another stay-at-home order.
Nevada reported a record jump of nearly 1,100 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, according to the state’s health department.
As of Friday, Nevada reported a near 17% increase in hospitalizations, based on a seven-day average, compared with one week ago. It’s average number of daily cases grew by more than 49%, according to Johns Hopkins data.
On Wednesday, Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered that all people in the state wear a face covering when in pubic after four weeks of climbing case numbers. The amount of patients requiring intensive-care unit beds and ventilators has continued to hold steady, according to the order.
“Clearly for many, the excitement and enthusiasm for escaping our confinement and finally being able to enjoy dinner out with our families, buy new clothes or get a haircut, overshadowed the good judgement we practiced in the previous months,” Sisolak said in a statement.
— CNBC’s Nate Rattner contributed to this report.