For the first time, the U.S. has documented a new record with nearly 60,000 cases on Thursday alone. In Michigan, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has mandated that people must wear masks in indoor public spaces as well as crowded outdoor areas. Businesses are now required to refuse people service if they do not wear a mask and there is a $500 fine for those who do not comply.
The slight decline in cases that the U.S. saw for some time has taken a turn that is both concerning and a cause to take swift action to prevent as many deaths as possible. In the country’s most populous states, such as California, Texas, and Florida, there has been a sharp uptick in new infections and deaths.
In Arizona, more than 200 deaths have been documented just this week and in Texas, health officers report 119 deaths on Wednesday. This is a record for deaths in one day. Other states including Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and South Dakota have also set records for single-day deaths.
The death average across the past seven-days in the U.S. approached 608 on Thursday despite it being 471 earlier this month. Despite the high numbers, it is still “a fraction of the more than 2,200 deaths the country averaged each day in mid-April” according to the New York Times.
As of now it is too soon to forecast the direction of this data because it is just from a few days. Regardless of which direction the trend takes, the rising deaths in some states indicate an end to the country’s period of declining death counts. The reason why the U.S. saw this progress for a few months is largely because of the precautions that were taken by the governors of a few states. Mandating mask wearing, stay-at-home orders, and social distancing surely had a great impact on how much of the virus propagated throughout the nation.
According to reports from Fox News, a minimum of 8 lawmakers in the state of Mississippi now have tested positive for Coronavirus. Reports indicate that these lawmakers were working in close proximity for the past few weeks. Among this group of lawmakers include House Speaker Philip Gunn and Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann.
According to the Mississippi State Health Officer, there may be over 10 suspected cases largely involving Capitol employees. At the moment Governor Tate Reeves is in quarantine with his family after coming into contact with another lawmaker that tested positive previously. Reeves continues to encourage people to get tested if exposed.
Mississippi has had a minimum of 1,158 deaths and 30,000+ confirmed cases. The amount of cases in Mississippi continue to rise rapidly putting stress on the health system.
In accordance to a recent Nanos Research survey, at least 80% of Canadians believe that the U.S.-Canada border should stay closed for the foreseeable future.
Though a majority of travel across the border has been paused for 30 days since March 21, it seems that most Canadians would rather maintain the border restrictions for at least some time especially with rising case numbers of COVID-19 in the United States.
In June, the Prime Minister of Canada made it clear that the U.S. and Canada will continue to block non-essential travel between the two nations until July 21. With confusing leadership and premature calls to reopen, the U.S. seems to be struggling to mitigate the spread of this deadly disease that has taken the lives of 130,000+ Americans.
Although non-essential travel is restricted, foods and goods, which are deemed essential, can travel across the border. Moreover, people can travel for work-related reasons. The Prime Minister of Canada also said in June that family members are able to visit each other as long as those entering Canada quarantine for 2 weeks. They are issuing fines for non-compliance.
The survey, which was conducted for The Globe and Mail, specifically asked their participants whether the border should be open for non-essential travel immediately(from low risk areas) or if the border should remain closed for at least some time. According to this poll over 80 percent said that the border should remain closed.
These responses most likely stem from the United States’ handling of COVID-19. The CDC documented over 52,000 new cases just this Sunday. The total cases are about 2.8 million currently. Canada’s handling of this virus seems to be quite remarkable with low numbers of new cases every day.
***This survey, according to The Globe and Mail, included over 1,000 Canadian adults. It occurred between June 28 and July 2. The margin of error is about 3.1% ***
(My Public Health) – Just this Saturday, The New York Times Reported a new claim made by hundreds of scientists saying that there is proof that COVID-19 can infect people through smaller particles in the air. They are asking that the World Health Organization revise their recommendations.
Previously, the World Health Organization had said that novel coronavirus primarily transmits through small droplets from the mouth or nose. Because symptoms of COVID-19 usually include coughing and sneezing, this novel coronavirus can easily spread through these droplets especially without the usage of a mask or facial covering. In fact, these contaminated droplets have been found to spread through actions as simple as speaking.
In a letter to the WHO, planned to be published next week, over 200 scientists from over 30+ countries highlighted evidence that possibly proves that smaller contaminated particles can infect people.(New York Times)
According to the NYT, scientists say that the coronavirus is certainly carried through air and can infect people when inhaled. Currently, this seems to be how the virus is transmitted whether through large droplets from a sneeze or through smaller droplets that can travel across a room.
NEVERTHELESS, the WHO has stated that the evidence for calling COVID-19 airborne was inconclusive at best. (NYT) Dr. Trish Greenhalgh, a primary care doctor at the University of Oxford in Britain has said,“So at the moment we have to make a decision in the face of uncertainty, and my goodness, it’s going to be a disastrous decision if we get it wrong,…So why not just mask up for a few weeks, just in case?” Whatever the case may be, COVID-19 is still a threat to society. Wear a mask and continue to be vigilant.
If you have any questions or concerns, let us know in the comments below!