The death toll from the United States’ coronavirus has begun to rise again, driven by Florida, Texas and other southern and western states where infections have exploded in recent weeks.
Stark’s figures reveal that the long-awaited recovery in the nation’s number of daily deaths has begun, with another 802 deaths recorded on Friday.
The seven-day moving average has increased by almost 100 victims in the past two weeks alone, driven by a record number of new cases in various southern states, which are now beginning to translate into an increase in deaths.
More than 134,000 Americans have died in the pandemic, and a leading medical expert warned that this could amount to 250,000 by the end of the year.
According to an analysis of data from the Johns Hopkins University Associated Press, the seven-day moving average for reported daily deaths in the US rose from 578 two weeks ago to 664 on July 10.
This is still well below the heights reached in April, when the nation’s deadliest day claimed 2,500 victims.
But experts warn that the trajectory is worrisome.
‘It is constantly rebounding. And it’s accelerating the moment you would expect it, ” said William Hanage, an infectious disease researcher at Harvard University.
Daily reported deaths increased in 27 states in the past two weeks, driven by a smaller group of states where infections reached record levels.
California has an average of 91 reported deaths per day, while Texas is very close at 66.
Florida, Arizona, Illinois, New Jersey, and South Carolina have also seen considerable increases.
New Jersey has also seen a recent jump, though this is believed to be partially attributable to its less frequent report of probable deaths.
Texas has an average of 66 new deaths a day after an increase in cases across the state
Florida has also seen a significant increase in deaths in the past two weeks.
The rising death rate from coronavirus in the United States has been fueled by Florida, Texas, and other southern and western states where infections have exploded in recent weeks. Photo of the Arizona death bill
Cases and hospitalizations have skyrocketed to record levels in several southern states where officials have rushed to ease restrictions on early closings, but, so far, the number of deaths per day has remained low after falling for months.
Experts warned that the trend would not last and that an increase in deaths would come several weeks after an increase in infections.
The impact of the new increase in deaths has been felt by healthcare workers struggling in overloaded hospitals to save them.
Rublas Ruiz, a nurse from the Miami intensive care unit, recently cried during a birthday dinner with his wife and daughter.
He said he was outnumbered by the number of patients who died in his care.
“I counted about 10 patients in less than four days in our ICU and then stopped doing it because there were so many,” said the 41-year-old nurse at Kendall Regional Medical Center who lost another patient on Monday.
Deaths began to rise in the United States in March. About two dozen deaths were reported daily in the middle of that month.
At the end of the month, hundreds reported each day, and in April thousands. Most happened in New York, New Jersey, and other parts of the Northeast.
The deaths were so high there because it was a new virus that passed through a densely populated area and quickly swept away vulnerable groups of people in nursing homes and elsewhere, said Perry Halkitis, dean of the Rutgers University School of Public Health in New Jersey.
People wait in line to enter Downtown Disney in Anaheim, California on July 9, its first opening day since March.
Cars line up for coronavirus testing at Hansen Dam Recreation Center Tuesday in Los Angeles
Medical staff prepares to screen hundreds of people lined up in vehicles in the western Maryvale neighborhood of Phoenix
Many of the infections occurred before government officials imposed orders to stay home and other measures of social distancing. The number of daily deaths began to drop in mid-April and continued to drop until about a week ago.
The researchers now expect deaths to increase for at least a few weeks, but some think the count probably won’t increase as dramatically as it did in the spring, for various reasons.
First, the tests were extremely limited at the start of the pandemic, and it became clear that unrecognized infections were spreading on the subway, in nursing homes, and in other public places before anyone knew exactly what was happening.
The evidence is now more widespread and the magnitude of the outbreaks is being better understood.
Second, many people’s health behaviors have changed, and wearing masks is becoming more common in some places. Although there is no vaccine yet, hospitals are also improving in treating patients.
Another factor, tragically, is that deadly new viruses often tear vulnerable populations first, such as the elderly and people already weakened by other health conditions.
That means, at least in the Northeast, “many of the vulnerable people have already died,” Halkitis said.
Now, the United States is likely to have “much longer and slower combustion,” said Hanage, the Harvard researcher.
‘We are not going to see as many deaths (as in the spring). But we are going to see a total number of deaths, which will be great. ”