Big news today: “A document prepared for the White House Coronavirus Task Force but not publicized suggests more than a dozen states should revert to more stringent protective measures, limiting social gatherings to 10 people or fewer, closing bars and gyms and asking residents to wear masks at all times,” reports the Center for Public Integrity, which obtained the document. “The document, dated July 14, says 18 states are in the ‘red zone’ for COVID-19 cases, meaning they had more than 100 new cases per 100,000 population last week. Eleven states are in the ‘red zone’ for test positivity, meaning more than 10 percent of diagnostic test results came back positive.” Click through to see if your state is a “red zone.”
“Some elected officials fear another coronavirus-induced lockdown seems inevitable as the Charlotte region struggles to regain control of steadily rising case tallies and hospitalizations,” reports the Charlotte Observer. “I feel like we’re just sitting here watching a train come toward us, and we’re just sitting on the track,” Commissioner Susan Rodriguez-McDowell told the paper. “And we’re like, ‘Oh, maybe it will stop before it hits me, and maybe it won’t.’ It’s just a really weird feeling.”
Idaho has had its numbers rising starkly in recent days, with a total of 12,701 cases and 111 deaths. One of them was Samantha Hickey, age 45, a nurse at St. Luke’s. “Samantha’s death is a heartbreaking consequence of the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said her employer. “As a life-long learner and community-minded caregiver, Samantha’s husband and four children say she wanted to make a difference. They believe she would want her death not to be in vain, but to serve as a stark reminder that people must do whatever they can to protect themselves and others and take this pandemic seriously.”
“Arkansas reported 878 new COVID-19 cases” one recent Thursday, “the most the state has seen in a single-day since the pandemic began,” reports KY3. “Gov. Asa Hutchinson says the state had seen a decline in cases for a few days prior to Thursday, which more than doubled Wednesday’s new cases.” The state has 31,114 cases and 341 deaths.
“If we don’t do something, we’re going to go off the cliff …,” warned Judy Smith, district administrator for the Alabama Department of Public Health, according to AL.com. The state has had a total of 61,088 cases and 1,130 deaths.
With 121,000 total cases and 3,043 deaths, “Georgia reopened in a reckless manner and the people of our city and state are suffering the consequences,” claimed Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who has tested positive for coronavirus.
“A seeming one-day spike in COVID-19 deaths stems from a nursing home that didn’t properly report a series of deaths for several days, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health,” reports the Des Moines Register. “The state reported 18 new deaths Thursday, bringing the total from 759 to 777. That represents the largest single-day increase in reported deaths from the respiratory disease since 20 deaths were reported on June 1.”
“Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt has signed a new COVID-19 emergency response proclamation that requires food service employees to wear face coverings and limits bar seating,” reports KFOR. The state has 23,441 cases and 438 deaths.
Texas has seen its COVID-19 death toll rise by more than 100 percent in the last four weeks. “A San Antonio doctor said one of her hospital’s patients, a 30-year-old man, died after attending a so-called ‘COVID party’—a bizarre trend where young people intentionally get together with someone who’s infected,” reports ABC 7. “Dr. Jane Appleby, chief medical officer for Methodist Hospital and Methodist Children’s Hospital, said the patient thought the coronavirus pandemic was a hoax. ‘He thought he was young and he was invincible and wouldn’t get affected … One of the things that was heart-wrenching that he said to his nurse was, “I think I made a mistake.”‘”
Cases are on the rise bigtime. “Both Clark County and the state of Nevada set new records for reported COVID-19 cases in a 24-hour period on Thursday with the former announcing 1,315 new cases and the state adding 1,447 cases,” reports Review-Journal. “Nevada’s inclusion on the coronavirus ‘red zone’ in the task force document suggests that the state should revert to more stringent protective measures, some of which are already in place in the state.
“Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, issued an executive order mandating the use of face masks or coverings in public beginning Friday in an effort to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in the state,” reports Fox News. “This is a simple, proactive step we can take to keep Kansans at work, get our kids back to school, and keep ourselves and our neighbors healthy,” Kelly said in a statement. “Wearing a mask is not only safe—but it is necessary to avoid another shutdown.” The state has 21,270 cases and 309 deaths.
The state has 135,000 cases and 2,499 deaths. In an obituary that went viral, Kristin Urquiza, who lost her father, Mark Urquiza, to COVID-19, blamed President Trump and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey for her loss, because of their mixed messages about the virus, and invited the latter to the funeral. “The reason why I reached out and invited him to my dad’s funeral was to help show him the devastation of his decisions and his leadership,” said Kristin, according to Fox 10.
During a week in which Walt Disney World reopened for business, “Florida set a weekly record of nearly 500 coronavirus-related deaths, a roughly 16 percent increase from the last highest weekly mortality rate reported in May,” reports Fox News. “WHO health expert Dr. Michael Ryan explained that the sharp rise in cases is not strictly due to an increase in testing, adding: ‘This epidemic is accelerating.'” Florida is considered the epicenter of the coronavirus.
“Daily death totals have begun to increase after a month of spiking cases and hospitalizations tied to businesses reopening and people getting back to old habits and social gatherings,” reported the LA Times. California has had 360,000 confirmed cases and 7,409 deaths.
In very sad news, the first child to die of COVID-19 in South Carolina was reported recently. He was under 5 years old. “Today, we mourn the loss of one of our children to this virus. It is heart-wrenching to lose a child under any circumstances, and especially so during a time when we have all lost so much already,” said Dr. Joan Duwve, The Department of Health and Environmental Control Public Health Director. “Our state is in a dire situation and we will continue to mourn the loss of parents, grandparents, children, friends and neighbors until each and every one of us steps up to do what is right, not just for ourselves but for others. No one is immune to this deadly disease, but we each have the power to impact the path this pandemic takes in South Carolina. Choosing to wear a mask and maintain physical distance today will not only help change the course of the pandemic in South Carolina, it will help save the lives of those around us.”
“Mississippi is again reporting more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases as the state sees a drastic increase in those affected by COVID-19,” reports the Clarion Ledger. To date, the state has 39,797 confirmed cases and 1,309 coronavirus deaths.
“The number of patients hospitalized in Tennessee for COVID-19 continues its dramatic rise, now standing at an all-time high of 1,416 patients with confirmed or suspected cases currently in the hospital,” reports News Channel 5. “On top of that, there is growing concern that hospitals may soon face difficulty having enough doctors and nurses to staff a shrinking number of hospital beds.”
The governor has issued a statewide mandate to wear face masks as the COVID-19 death rate jumps more than 20% in the last four months. “While I had hoped to avoid going backwards on restrictions, it is obvious that it is necessary to slow the spread of infection in our state, as COVID-19 has spread to every corner, at a level higher than we have previously seen. This is why I am now mandating face coverings statewide and also closing all bars in Louisiana to on-premises consumption, in addition to putting in limits on the size of indoor gatherings,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said.
“Utah reported one new death and 954 new positive tests for COVID-19 Thursday, but not all of them are new cases, health officials cautioned,” reports the Salt Lake Tribune. “‘I need to provide a lot of context to these numbers,’ state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn said at a Thursday news conference, explaining the state has been ‘reviewing the antigen case results for accuracy’ and decided to add such test results to the state’s case totals.”
To Stay Healthy in Your State
Use best practices to keep yourself and others safe: Wash your hands frequently, wear a face mask, avoid crowds, social distance, only run essential errands, monitor your health and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these 37 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch Coronavirus.