Washington: Leading health experts have warned that a fresh COVID-19 resurgence has already hit the US as the country’s overall caseload has surpassed the 8 million mark.
As of Saturday morning, the country’s total number of cases stood at 8,045,090 and the fatalities increased to 218,529, according to the Johns Hopkins University.
The two tallies account for the world’s highest, making the US the worst-hit country.
“We went down to the lowest point lately in early September, around 30,000-35,000 new cases a day. Now we’re back up to about 50,000 new cases a day. And it’s going to continue to rise,” Xinhua news agency quoted Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, as saying Friday.
“This is the fall/winter surge that everyone was worried about. And now it’s happening,” Hotez said, adding the surge is happening especially in the northern Midwest, and is going to be nationally soon enough.
Much of the US continues to report an upward trend in COVID-19 cases, with 63,486 new confirmed cases and 892 new deaths reported nationwide on Thursday alone, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The new daily case count has set a new record high since July 31.
Daily confirmed cases have been surpassing 45,000 since October 7, CDC data showed, with cases over 50,000 five times since last week.
Thirty-five states are showing increases in new cases greater than 10 percent over the last week compared to the week prior, according to a CNN report.
Since Sunday, 21 states have hit their peak seven-day average of new cases since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the share of positive coronavirus tests is increasing in the Northwest, Midwest and other northern states.
Calling the rates highly predictive of a “resurgence” of cases, Fauci said a rise in the share of positive cases may lead to an increase in hospitalizations, and then ultimately an increase in deaths.
A new forecast from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington said the COVID-19 death toll in the US is expected to near 400,000 by February 1, 2021.
Small gatherings are increasingly becoming a source of the infection around the country, CDC Director Robert Redfield said earlier this week.
“What we’re seeing as the increasing threat right now is actually acquisition of infection through small household gatherings,” Redfield said.
With the Thanksgiving holiday coming up, it is really important to stress the vigilance of continued mitigation steps in the household setting, he noted.