Whether it’s the second or third wave, the coronavirus is storming back as the temperature drops and the country moves further into the fall.
The U.S. reported more than 71,600 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, which, according to NBC News, is close to the record for the number of daily cases set in July. The pandemic, which hit Democratic areas and large cities last winter and into the spring is now coming for rural areas in red states.
Coronavirus cases are now growing “really in all parts of the country,” but particularly in the Midwest, Jay Butler, the CDC’s deputy director for infectious diseases, told reporters on a conference call on Wednesday, according to NBC News.
“Unfortunately, we are seeing a distressing trend here in the United States,” Butler said. The surge is likely due to cooler temperatures as the nation enters the fall, he said, adding that “smaller, more intimate gatherings of family, friends, and neighbors may be driving transmission as well, especially as they move indoors.”
The rise in coronavirus cases has led to several areas threatening to or restarting shutdowns and restrictions related to the virus. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced beginning Friday, a business curfew will be in effect from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. for all nonessential businesses.
Also, bars without a retail food license will no longer be able to serve customers indoors and all residents are being asked to avoid social gatherings of more than six people and end all social gatherings by 10:00 p.m.
“The rapid rise we’re experiencing in COVID-19 cases across all demographics, zip codes, and age groups is consistent with what public health experts and responsible leaders have been predicting for months,” Lightfoot said in the release. “This moment is a critical inflection point for Chicago, and these new restrictions and guidelines represent our ongoing effort to stay ahead of this pandemic through the data and science of this disease. Countless Chicagoans have done an outstanding job in being responsible and following public health guidance, but now we all must double-down on our commitment to our health and the health of our city in order to bend the curve and shape our future back to where it needs to be.”
These restrictions and guidelines will be in effect for at least two weeks after coronavirus cases in the city have risen by 54%, to over 640 per day.
On Thursday, Wyoming became the 46th state to reach 10,000 cases with more than 5,000 new infections recorded in the last month. New Hampshire (9,994), Maine (6,063), and Vermont (1,987) are the only states with less than 10,000 cases.
In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have been butting heads with the city’s large Orthodox Jewish community leading to them burning masks and protesting coronavirus restrictions last week.
Coronavirus cases in New York City are still relatively low. The daily number of people who tested positive for COVID-19 and were admitted to city hospitals climbed to 103 on Thursday, up from 77 the day before. However, considering how densely populated the city is, it cannot afford to take even a small uptick lightly.
More than 8 million Americans have been infected and more than 223,000 people have died as a result of the virus.