Graphic by Ishani Singh.
Daily coronavirus cases in the US this week are even higher than summer cases, and 14 states set record high COVID-19 hospitalizations in the past week. On Monday, October 19th, the country’s seven-day average of new daily cases was more than 58,300, a level not seen since the first week of August, and the daily case count is approaching summer’s peak of 67,200 on July 22. The incoming cold weather will drive gatherings indoors and will likely lead to record high levels of hospitalizations in the next few weeks. Hospitalizations are rising especially in the Midwest, Great Plains, and parts of the West. Experts say that simple public measures like wearing a mask, social distancing, and hand washing have not been followed sufficiently.
Currently, the US has seen nearly 300,000 excess deaths associated with COVID-19 since late January, with the largest jumps among adults ages 25 to 44, and Hispanic people. The sheer number of COVID-19 related deaths is also predicted to have a massive impact on mental health, since for every death, approximately nine people are profoundly impacted. A COVID-19 vaccine authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration will likely not happen until late November.