Arizona, Florida and Texas See Their Highest Number of New Coronavirus Cases in the Last Week
Some businesses in the states have reopened and then had to close again after employees contracted the virus
Several states, including Arizona, Florida and Texas, are seeing their highest number of new coronavirus cases yet as they continue to pull back stay-at-home restrictions.
In Arizona, they hit their highest daily total on Friday, with 1,642 new cases of COVID-19, around three times more than their daily totals in April and May. The state is now close to running out of hospital beds with more than 1,400 hospitalizations, their highest yet.
And in Florida, the spike in cases that doctors had been waiting for in April has finally arrived. The state reported 2,581 new cases on Saturday, with rising numbers in every major city.
In both Florida and Arizona, restaurants that had reopened to indoor dining have since closed after employees contracted COVID-19, The Washington Post reported.
Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, Nevada and Alabama have all also recorded their highest daily case totals in the last week.
“To be quite frank, I have not been thrilled with what I’m seeing in terms of folks not wearing masks at a high enough rate,” Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said, according to The New York Times. He believes that people aren’t wearing masks and have stopped social distancing after months at home. “They’ve been asked for quite some time to not be around people they love, and that they want to spend time with. Wearing a mask is not pleasant. And I think people are tired.”
Outside of the Sun Belt and the South, Alaska and Oregon have also seen their highest numbers yet. In Oregon, Governor Kate Brown put the state’s reopening plans on hold due to the spike in cases.
“This is essentially a statewide yellow light,” Brown said during a news conference on Friday, according to Oregon Live. "We all wish this reopening could be happening faster. My job, however, is to make tough decisions even when they are unpopular. And when it comes to health and safety of Oregonians, the buck stops here."
While the rise in cases has come at a time when testing is more widely available, epidemiologists have said that these surges are more than just an increased number of test takers. In Florida, for example, more people are testing positive now than they were a month earlier. In the last two weeks, 4.5 percent of people getting tested have the virus, while that number was 2.3 percent in mid-May, prior to Memorial Day.
As of Monday afternoon, more than 2,117,300 Americans have tested positive for COVID-19, and at least 116,000 people have died.
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