The CDC Predicts Deaths Will Soar in These 9 States
As the number of new COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations continues to climb across the country, so does the death toll. Currently there have been 131,320 lives lost as a result of the highly infectious virus. According to the CDC, in just a few weeks—by August 15—that number will jump up to anywhere between 160,000 to 175,000. "National and state-level ensemble forecasts suggest that the number of new deaths over the next 4 weeks will likely exceed the number reported over the last 4 weeks for the US overall, as well as in 25 states and 1 territory," the CDC wrote in their latest report. Additionally, they also identified the "jurisdictions with the greatest likelihood of a larger number of deaths."
These are the states where COVID-19 deaths are likely to rise:
Alabama has been smashing COVID-19 records in recent weeks. According to The Alabama Department of Public Health, the state reported 2,283 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday alone with a 7-day average of 1,791 new cases per day. Over the last 14 days they have reported 23,206 new cases and a positivity rate of 14 percent. "The volume is incredible. We've lost people in their twenties and several in their thirties. Some of these people have zero comorbidities," local pulmonologist and critical care doctor David Thrasher told The Daily Beast, adding that one of his patients who died was just 21-years-old. "I don't see any light at the end of the tunnel right now."
Over Memorial Day weekend Florida beaches were filled with residents, excited to kick off the summer despite coronavirus. Just two months later, the state is paying the price. On Thursday, Florida broke their own record for the number of new coronavirus deaths in a day, adding 173 to their death toll, now at 5,518. Central Florida alone, home to Disney World where families are currently vacationing, there were 42 deaths reported. Additionally, the southern state added 10,250 cases to their tally. In Broward County, just 9.8% (52) of ICU beds are still available, with many other counties facing a similar deficit. "This is everything I was trying to warn people about," Rebekah Jones, a former Florida Department of Health employee who recently filed a whistleblower complaint after being fired for refusing to publish misleading data, told Yahoo News.
This week Georgia experienced a smaller surge of new cases of COVID-19 but a larger increase in new deaths and hospitalizations, with the total number of confirmed cases in the state topping 150,000 and the number of deaths reaching 81—the highest number since April. 88% percent of the state's critical care beds were full, with some hospitals operating over 100 percent capacity. The virus has become very political in the state, with Republican governor Brian Kemp staunchly against Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issuing a municipal order requiring people to wear masks in Atlanta.
On Wednesday, Idaho saw its largest single-day spike in coronavirus deaths, with nine total. Statewide, there were 473 new confirmed cases, bringing the confirmed total case count to 15,368."The one thing that will dramatically slow the spread of coronavirus is for every single one of us to wear a mask. I couldn't agree more with President Trump: Wearing a mask is the patriotic thing to do," Gov. Brad Little said during a Thursday press conference. "Wear a mask to protect lives."
On Wednesday, more than 1,100 cases of the coronavirus were reported in Nevada on Wednesday, with the number of deaths tying with the previous day's record of 28. The state also tied their hospitalization record for the third day in a row, with 7 more people seeking care for the virus. "Yes, we have seen 56 new cases of deaths reported in the last two days," Caleb Cage, state pandemic response director, confirmed. "This is why the governor put a mask order in place … that went into effect on June 26. This is why he shut down the bars in seven counties in our state to stop the spread."
Oklahoma has been experiencing a major surge of coronavirus cases that doesn't appear to be slowing down. On Wednesday, they experienced their third-highest single-day total with the addition of 918 more confirmed cases, bringing their total to 28,065. They are currently working to add an additional 340 hospital beds to various hospitals throughout the state to prepare for the inevitable increase in hospitalizations. According to a new survey courtesy of Wallethub, the state has some of the fewest restrictions in the entire country when it comes to coronavirus.
On Wednesday, South Carolina announced 1,654 new confirmed cases and 39 additional confirmed deaths, bringing the total number of cases to 74,761 and deaths to 1,242. On Thursday, an additional 49 people lost their lives to the infectious virus with an additional 100 getting hospitalized, setting a new record for the state. The state is still planning on reopening schools for in-class instruction, despite their surge of cases. "We're all in the same boat. There is no special group," Governor Henry McMaster recently declared, responding to teachers fearing for their lives.
In recent months Texas has emerged as one of the country's major coronavirus hotspots. The state was one of the first to begin phased reopening, with Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, allowing bars, restaurants, gyms, retailers, salons, and child care centers to reopen much earlier than other places in the country. As a result, the state's rate of infections, hospitalizations and deaths has continued to rise. As of July 22, the state averaged 329 new cases per million residents over the past 14 days—higher than New York's 37 per million. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, Texas had at least 353,000 cases and more than 4,200 deaths as of Wednesday, when the state experienced the highest single-day jump in COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began with 217—56 more deaths than the second-highest day on record set previously.
On Wednesday, Utah's total confirmed cases reached 35,578 with 2,135 hospitalizations and 260 total deaths from the disease. There were 10 new deaths reported Wednesday. Despite their high number of cases, State Epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn believes they are heading in a good direction. "We've seen some really positive trends in our data over the past week. Even though our cases are high, our hospitalizations have been decreasing," Dr. Dunn said. "We're also seeing evidence of a plateau followed by a decrease in the total statewide cases, and this started around July 10th."
How to Stay Healthy in Your State
To stay healthy no matter where you live, wear your face mask, get tested if you think you have COVID-19, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 37 Places You're Most Likely to Catch Coronavirus.