The United States is approaching 5 million cases of coronavirus – and as experts have pointed out in the past, the actual number of infections can be many times higher.
The number means that the country holds about a quarter of the global cases of the virus and also tops the list of the most reported deaths in the world. More than 162,000 Americans have died.
The pandemic shows no signs of slowing down, and health officials have urged the use of face masks in public places and urged residents to avoid social gatherings until the spread is under control.
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As of this week, five states account for more than 40% of U.S. infections: California (with the most cases in the country), Florida, Texas, New York and Georgia.
New York, once the country’s epicenter, has been surpassed by several states that have seen spikes in recent months. The state now reports a degree of positivity – how many test positive compared to how many were tested – of about 0.93%, according to the governor’s office.
“Despite increasing rates of infection across the country and in our region, we continue to see our numbers stay low, all thanks to New Yorkers’ hard work to change their behavior and our data-driven, phased reopening,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement Saturday.
California, which reported more than 7,000 cases Saturday for a total of more than 545,000, had a positivity of about 6% over the past two weeks, according to health officials. Hospital admissions across the state are declining, and there are about 5,746 inpatients – more than 1,000 from two weeks ago.
In Texas, the governor extended his disaster declaration when the state reported its highest seven-day positivity: 19.41%. The previous high, 17.43%, was noted around mid-July. More than 481,000 infections have been reported across the country and about 7,872 people remain in hospitals.
Thousands gather in the small town of South Dakota
As the virus spreads to many American communities, visitors have poured into a city in South Dakota for the 80th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
The state has so far registered one of the lowest numbers of cases with approximately 9,477 infections, according to the state’s health department.
The event, which is held in the city of about 7,000, gathers hundreds of thousands of people every year. While officials say this year will be a scaled-down version, people from across the country are still expected – including hotspots such as Florida, Texas and Arizona.
At nearby campsites there will be concerts, competitions and competitions every day. City officials say they have recommended guidelines for social distancing and capacity restrictions for bars and restaurants, but none of them are legally feasible, Mayor Daniel Ainslie told CNN.
Dr. Carlos del Rio, an infectious disease professor at Emory University, is not worried about the collection itself because it will mostly be outside, he said. Instead, he said he is afraid of what will happen after hours, when people go to restaurants, bars and start gathering indoors.
“I’m pretty worried that this incident could be a disaster,” he said. “Not only could there be a lot of transmission there, but many people could be infected there and go back to their home states and catch the virus over there.”
The event runs until August 16.
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Schools are starting to welcome students back
When schools reopen to classes, researchers are still working to understand the spread and effects of the virus in children.
Research has shown that older children can transmit coronavirus just like adults, and another study says that children younger than 5 have a higher viral load from the virus in the nose compared to older children and adults, which also raises questions about how likely they will transmit. the virus.
While some U.S. officials have said that an infection poses less risk to younger populations, a 7-year-old boy without an underlying health condition died in Georgia last week and became the youngest victim in the state. Earlier this month, two teenagers in Florida died of coronavirus complications, bringing the state’s total number of minors who have died from the virus to seven.
With a positivity rate of less than 1%, New York has cleared all school districts across the state to reopen, Cuomo said Friday, adding that plans could change if the infection rate begins to nail down again before the planned reopens.
In Georgia, many schools have already reopened.
At least 260 students and eight teachers in the Cherokee County School District were quarantined after several students and teachers tested positive for the virus during the first week of school. In a statement on its website, the district, which is north of the city of Atlanta, reported positive cases among at least 11 students and two employees. Among them was a second class who tested positive for the virus after the first day of school.
Northeast Atlanta informed Barrow County Schools that the district would begin the year nearly after more than 90 employees were forced into quarantine because they had a confirmed or suspected case of the virus or were exposed to someone who did.
Video: Dr. Birx has a warning for rural Americans (CNN)