Coronavirus cases rising in 21 states, analysis shows

Death toll in US due to coronavirus surpasses 200,000

As health experts continue warning of another possible coronavirus surge during the fall and winter, a new analysis of Johns Hopkins University of Medicine data shows 21 states are reporting rising COVID-19 cases.

As of Sunday, according to the CNN analysis, the number of new coronavirus cases has increased by at least 10% or more compared with the week before in Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington state, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Eighteen states were holding steady, while 11 — Georgia, along with Arizona, Louisiana, Tennessee, Florida, Virginia, Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont and New Hampshire — saw decreases of new cases of more than 10% compared with the week prior.

One of the states holding steady in its number of cases was Missouri, whose governor, Mike Parson, tested positive last week for the coronavirus, as did his wife, Teresa. Parson has steadfastly refused to implement a statewide mask mandate.

On Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis lifted all restrictions on restaurants and other businesses in Florida, and he banned local fines against people who refuse to wear masks as he seeks to reopen the state’s economy.

The U.S. surpassed 7 million infections of COVID-19 on Friday, according to Johns Hopkins. Last week, the nation surpassed more than 200,000 coronavirus-related deaths. As of Monday, that number stood at more than 204,000.

As cooler weather approaches, the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning of a possible COVID-19 surge. The CDC is recommending trick-or-treaters stay at home this year, as many traditional Halloween activities can be high risk for “spreading” the coronavirus.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has warned Americans to “hunker down this fall and winter because it’s not going to be easy.”

The pandemic will also soon be stacked on top of flu season. In July, Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, said “the fall and the winter of 2020 and 2021 are going to be probably one of the most difficult times that we experienced in American public health.”

Last week, Redfield told a Senate panel in Washington, D.C., more than 90% of the U.S. population remains susceptible to the deadly pandemic.

Also last week, Johnson & Johnson began a huge final study to try to prove if a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine can protect against the virus.

The study is one of the world’s largest coronavirus vaccine studies so far, testing the shot in 60,000 volunteers in the U.S., South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.

President Donald Trump has consistently presented a faster timeline for a new vaccine than experts say is adequate to fully test the candidates.

In May, the president announced “Operation Warp Speed,” a project to accelerate vaccine development and deliver 300 million doses by year’s end. The government has selected eight vaccine candidates for the program, beginning manufacturing of the shots even while they remain in clinical trials with the expectation that one or more will work.

Top government health officials including Fauci have said a vaccine may be available as soon as mid-2021.