"We went down to the lowest point lately in early September, around 30,000-35,000 new cases a day. Now we're back up to (about) 50,000 new cases a day. And it's going to continue to rise," Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, said Tuesday.
"This is the fall/winter surge that everyone was worried about. And now it's happening. And it's happening especially in the northern Midwest, and the Northern states are getting hit very hard -- Wisconsin, Montana, the Dakotas. But it's going to be nationally soon enough."
Across the country, more than 30 states have reported more Covid-19 cases this past week than they reported the previous week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
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And Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, sounded an alarm about certain states' test-positivity rates, saying they may be a good indicator that steeper climbs in case rates are ahead.
For the whole country, test positivity averaged 5.1% over the past week as of Tuesday. But in at least 13 states, the figure was above 10%: in Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
"You'd like to see (the rates) less than 3%, optimally 1% or less," Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said at an event hosted by the College of American Pathologists.
"We're starting to see a number of states well above that, which is often -- in fact, invariably -- highly predictive of a resurgence of cases, which historically we know leads to an increase in hospitalizations and then ultimately an increase in deaths," he said.
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In Denver, recent case counts are as "high right now as they were at the height of the pandemic back in May," Mayor Michael Hancock said Monday.
He said hospitalizations have also soared, and residents could face tighter Covid-19 restrictions if the numbers keep going up.
Kansas has broken its record for the highest average number of daily cases with more than 700 cases per day this past week, Gov. Laura Kelly said.
More than 1,000 new cases were reported Tuesday in Colorado. "It's very worrisome. It's very alarming. This is our highest single-day caseload since March," Gov. Jared Polis said.
In Wisconsin, a field hospital is opening this week to handle a rapid rise in coronavirus patients. The state recently reported record-high numbers of Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and daily deaths.
If Americans don't turn the tide, the US could be in for a devastating winter. The University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation projects more than 135,000 people in the US could die within the next three months.
"This winter -- this November, December, January, February -- could be the worst time in our epidemic," Hotez said. "Get ready to hunker down."
from CNN Health