But those numbers may be just an idea of how widespread infections are across the country, as a survey by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the total number of infections could be as high as 24 times greater than reported.
What happens next is unclear. Local and state leaders have promised they will do whatever it takes to stay away from a second shutdown. But many failed to remove the option from the table.
The increase “will get worse for weeks”
Governors across the United States have partially attributed their increases to more widespread testing, but former CDC chief Dr. Tom Frieden warned Sunday with even more testing and better-prepared hospitals, “This virus still has the advantage. “
The increase in cases across the South is the result of too rapid a reopening, Frieden said on Fox News on Sunday, and “will continue to worsen for weeks.”
And deaths will come, too, he said in a bleak prediction that coronavirus deaths lag behind infection cases in about a month.
Here’s how the case trends now, according to data from Johns Hopkins University:
- 31 states are seeing an increase in new cases compared to the previous week: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
- 15 states are stabilizing: Hawaii, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington state
- Four states are seeing a decline: Connecticut, Delaware, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.
States halt reopening plans
At least 12 states have already paused or reversed plans to reopen, hoping that the move will slow the spread of the virus. Last week, officials and state leaders have repeatedly pleaded with Americans to stay away from crowded spaces, keep their distance, and try to stay home as much as possible.
Washington State Governor Jay Inslee announced that counties that were preparing to enter the fourth phase of reopening, essentially without restrictions, will not yet.
In Texas and Florida, which have raised alarm bells among experts with a rapid increase in cases, the bars were ordered to be closed a second time after authorities suggested they were a driving force behind the coronavirus cases.
He recommended closing them in eight other counties, including Contra Costa, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Stanislaus, and Ventura.
Expert: masks can partially protect you from infection
As communities now grapple with how to move forward, another question: what about the masks?
The mask requirements issued by some parts of the country have faced violent backlash from residents who claim the mandates violate their rights. Some business owners and law enforcement units have refused to enforce the mask regulations. And many governors, despite encouraging masks through social media posts, have not made them a requirement in public spaces.
But White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx on Sunday pressured Americans to wear masks, saying the evidence not only suggests that the masks “prevent them from infecting others,” but “also they may protect you in part against infection. “
The government has mentioned the possibility before, but has not made a point of emphasis. The CDC says that “cloth face liners are meant to protect others if the user is unknowingly infected but has no symptoms.”
Birx also encouraged young people to wear masks when they go out, adding, “and if they are interacting with their parents and grandparents, they should also wear a mask because we now know how many of them are asymptomatic.”
CNN’s Artemis Moshtaghian and Wes Bruer contributed to this report.