School systems in Detroit, Indianapolis, Philadelphia and suburban Minneapolis are dropping in-person classes, and some governors are reimposing restrictions on bars and restaurants or getting more serious about masks, as the resurgence of coronavirus coast-to-coast sends deaths, hospitalizations and new infections skyrocket.
The crisis has worsened in hospitals, with the situation so bad in North Dakota that the governor this week said nurses who test positive but have no symptoms can still work. Clinics in Idaho have struggled to cope with the deluge of phone calls from patients. And one of Utah’s largest hospital systems brings in nearly 200 itinerant nurses, some from New York.
The virus is responsible for more than 240,000 deaths and more than 10.4 million confirmed infections in the United States, the country facing what health experts say is a bleak winter due to contempt for the port from the mask and other precautions, from the onset of cold and overcrowding holiday gatherings.
“It should scare us all,” said Dr. David Peterman, CEO of the Idaho Primary Health Medical Group, of the virus count. “It’s easy to watch TV and say, ‘I’m not in the intensive care unit, my grandmother is not in the intensive care unit.’ But if I tell you that your doctor can’t treat your child with an ear infection because I can’t answer your phone call, or your doctor is in quarantine, or our clinics are full of people with coronavirus ?
The number of daily deaths in the United States has climbed more than 40% in the past two weeks, from an average of around 790 to more than 1,100 on Wednesday, the highest level in three months.
This is still well below the peak of around 2,200 deaths per day at the end of April, which may reflect the availability of better treatments and the increased share of cases among young people, who are more likely than older ones to survive. a fight with COVID-19.
But new confirmed cases per day in the United States have increased by more than 70% in the past two weeks, reaching an average of around 127,000 – the highest on record. And the number of people currently hospitalized with the virus has reached an all-time high of over 65,000.
Amid the staggering numbers, some heads of state have continued to take a hands-off approach, pushing for “personal responsibility” rather than government-imposed restrictions such as compulsory mask wear.
Reflecting what has been largely a divide between the Red State and the Blue State in the United States, Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma declined to impose a mask mandate, citing concerns about the application and a “one size fits all” approach. Instead, he held a press conference this week with medics across the state who pleaded with residents to wear masks.
In North Dakota, nurses have opposed GOP Governor Doug Burgum’s decision to allow healthcare workers who test positive to stay on the job, saying scientifically proven measures such as a warrant of mask should be tried first. Burgum refused to do so.
In Idaho, Republican Gov. Brad Little has also resisted calls for a statewide mask requirement even as health clinics grapple with dozens of staff absences and thousands of calls from people seeking help.
In other states, authorities have tightened restrictions, but not as much as when the virus first struck in the spring.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called on residents to cancel Thanksgiving gatherings, limit all social gatherings to 10 people, and stay home except for essentials, like work or errands, from Monday.
Minnesota has joined states, including New York, in ordering bars and restaurants to close before 10 p.m. The governor of Wisconsin this week advised people to stay at home. The governor of Utah has implemented a statewide mask mandate, while the governor of Indiana has extended his state’s mask rule by one month.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Thursday he would sign an executive order to give towns and cities the ability to limit non-essential business hours after 8 p.m. The mayor of Newark, New Jersey, has imposed a 9 p.m. curfew on residents of three hard-hit homes. ZIP codes.
Maine Governor Janet Mills joined governors of six other northeastern states in suspending interstate youth hockey games.
Philadelphia abandoned plans to start bringing students back to school on November 30. Detroit, Michigan’s largest school district, has announced it will suspend in-person classes next week for its roughly 50,000 students, joining other districts that have switched to online-only classes.
“The district relied on science and data to reopen schools for in-person learning this summer and fall and relied on the same to decide it was no longer safe for our students. and employees to work in a school environment in person. ” said Detroit Superintendent Nikolai Vitti.
In New York City, the looming threat of a school system shutdown of 1.1 million students has prompted families and teachers to closely monitor the number of cases. Mayor Bill de Blasio said in-person schooling would be halted if the city’s rate of positive tests for the virus reached 3%.
By MICHELLE R. SMITH and SEAN MURPHY Associated Press
Associated Press writers Sophia Tareen in Chicago and Rebecca Boone in Boise, Idaho, contributed to this story.
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