US coronavirus: Tracking contacts is no longer possible across the South due to rapid increases in coronavirus, says health expert

“Cases are increasing so fast that we can’t even keep track of contacts. I don’t see how that can be done,” Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of tropical medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. Monday.

The rapid increase in cases is considered an increase, not a second wave, because infection numbers never decreased to where officials expected they would, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday. , in a live broadcast on Facebook and Twitter. .

Although Florida set a record for most new cases in a single day over the weekend, Florida Department of Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran announced in an emergency order Monday that his schools will open their doors in August. .

But the state is among at least 24 that are pausing or reversing their plans to reopen for the summer in light of the increasing cases.

“Let’s wait and see,” Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont said Monday about moving to Phase 3 of his state’s plan, which means the state will keep bars and restaurants closed at 50% of capacity. “I know how frustrating it can be, but right now, with this pandemic breaking out in most other states, this is not the time to take risks.”

‘We are in free fall’

That outbreak can be seen in at least 31 states, where the number of new cases has increased since last week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Those states include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, North Carolina, Dakota del North, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington State, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Fauci says the coronavirus situation in the United States

Only four states have seen improvements in the number of cases since the previous week: Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. The remaining 15 states have remained stable.

According to a new study, one of the main drivers of the nearly 3 million cases now could be “silent separators” or asymptomatic or presymptomatic people.

The report, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that asymptomatic or presymptomatic cases could be responsible for half of the cases.

“We are in free fall,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, chief of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital. “You see the images of what happened last weekend. And people are naive in the face of the influence of their actions, or they just resign themselves to ignoring it.”

After weeks of health officials encouraging the public to wear face masks, at least 35 states, along with Washington DC and Puerto Rico, have implemented facial coverage requirements to help mitigate the spread of the virus.

State and local officials test positive

State and local officials have led the fight against the coronavirus, and some of them have tested positive.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms says she tested positive for coronavirus

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said she “has no idea” how she was exposed, but that she, her husband and one of their children tested positive. Her cases are among the more than 97,000 cases in Georgia.

At least five California Assembly members tested positive for the virus, prompting the state to close its Capitol building in Sacramento, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) confirmed to CNN. California has the second highest number of cases in the country with more than 273,000.

The Assembly will remain in recess until further notice to “protect members, staff and the public from exposure,” Rendon added.

Many lawmakers have tested positive for coronavirus in Mississippi, which now has more than 31,000 cases, said Governor Tate Reeves. Reeves has been tested for the virus and is awaiting results.

Rising cases threaten hospital capacity

With the increase in spread, comes the concern of exceeding the capacity of hospitals.

Along with 1,214 new cases, Dallas County, Texas reported a 16% increase in new hospitalizations on Monday.

Miami-Dade to Close Restaurants Again as Covid-19 Hospitalizations Increase in Florida

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins issued a letter urging the governor to implement more statewide restrictions as the state reaches its highest number in both categories.

“Think of hospitalizations as the sickest of the sick, the part of the iceberg above water. For numbers to rise dramatically with hospitalizations, the amount of iceberg under water must grow exponentially,” Jenkins said.

In Florida, 43 hospitals in 21 counties, including Miami-Dade, Broward, Hillsborough and Orange counties, have reached capacity and show zero beds available in the ICU, according to data released by the Agency for Health Care Administration ( AHCA).

In response to President Donald Trump’s claim that 99% of coronavirus cases are “totally harmless,” Dr. Boris Lushniak told Wolf Blitzer in the Situation Room Monday that hospitalizations tell a different story.

“Yes, some people are asymptomatic. Yes, some people have mild cases of illness. But, in essence, we also have many people hospitalized,” said Lushniak, dean of the University of Maryland School of Public Health. and a former assistant surgeon general.

“These are not harmless cases; this is not a harmless pandemic. And we must be strong enough to start correcting the president,” he said.

CNN’s Shelby Lin Erdman, Andrea Kane, Alta Spells, Kay Jones, Rosa Flores, Rebekah Riess, Lauren Mascarenhas and Pierre Meilhan contributed to this report.