- The number of coronavirus infections in some states is rising rapidly.
- Both Florida and Arizona recently reported new daily records with respect to new coronavirus cases.
- The spike in infections is being attributed to states reopening and people not adhering to social distancing guidelines.
Amidst a worrisome spike in the number of coronavirus cases, Arizona is now telling hospitals across the state to prepare emergency plans to combat what could be an overwhelming influx of COVID-19 patients.
“I would go so far as to say [it’s] alarming,” said Dr. William Hanage, an epidemiology professor at Harvard University. “The only sort of crumb of comfort that I can find is that I think, in general, it’s sort of easier to social distance in Arizona than it is in some places.”
Specifically, the Arizona Department of Health Services (AZPHA) recently said the state, this past Friday, saw more than 1,500 new coronavirus cases. To put that figure into context, it’s the highest number of COVID-19 cases Arizona has seen in a 24-hour period since the pandemic began back in March.
While a rise in coronavirus cases can sometimes be attributed to a corresponding increase in coronavirus testing, that doesn’t appear to be happening in this case. According to health officials in the state, the coronavirus is spreading across the state because people aren’t adhering to social distancing and are not following general safety guidelines.
“The reason for the increased number of cases is not because of the increased testing,” AZPHA director Will Humble said in remarks picked up by Fox10Phoenix. “It’s because there’s more community spread. This is a phenomena that’s happening in Arizona. The stay-at-home order lifted and people’s behavior changed on a dime and went back to pre-pandemic behavior.”
What’s especially worrisome is that Arizona isn’t the only state experiencing a sudden rise in coronavirus cases. In fact, CNN reports that as many as 19 states are seeing new coronavirus outbreaks. So while the coronavirus is subsiding in former hotspots like New York City and Chicago, the situation is decidedly different in other parts of the country.
North Carolina recently broke the record of the number of people hospitalized with coronavirus, according to the North Carolina Healthcare Association. The reported hospitalizations are at 774.
Though there is plenty of capacity left in hospitals, the state is concerned about the trends in hospitalizations that increased when restrictions were first relaxed and then again after Memorial Day weekend, the agency said.
Florida is another state that has seen the number of coronavirus infections rise drastically in recent days. Last Thursday, Florida reported 1,419 new coronavirus cases, a figure which is a one-day high for the state.
Other states that are seeing a jump in coronavirus cases include Arkansas, Kentucky, Washington, Vermont, South Carolina, Utah, Alabama, Tennessee, and Washington.
All told, there have now been more than 2 million coronavirus cases in the United States since the pandemic began. Looking ahead, a second wave almost seems inevitable given how loosely people are adhering to safety guidelines mapped out by health professionals.
That said, the current pandemic could have been much worse if states didn’t implement strict lockdown measures a few months ago. According to a recent study, the coronavirus could have infected 530 million more people if people weren’t under strict orders to quarantine themselves.