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Thursday, 17 June 2021

U.S. virus hotspots reopen as second wave looms

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U.S. virus hotspots reopen as second wave looms
U.S. virus hotspots reopen as second wave looms

Governors of U.S. states that are COVID-19 hotspots are pressing ahead to reopen businesses and ease restrictions despite mounting fears over a second wave of infections.

This report produced by Zachary Goelman.

About half a dozen U.S. states are now are grappling with a rising number of coronavirus patients filling hospital beds, fanning fears over a second wave of infections in a pandemic that has already killed more 113,000 Americans.

But state governors in COVID-19 hotspots are pressing ahead with re-openings.

On Thursday, Florida reported its highest daily tally of new cases, just as governor Ron De Santis announced schools would resume at full capacity in the fall.

"We've been able to provide a roadmap to announce the return of our schools to on-campus instruction." North Carolina reported record COVID-19 hospitalizations for the fifth straight day, a day after state lawmakers passed a bill reopening gyms, fitness centers and bars.

Arizona's governor said the state is pressing ahead with reopening despite figures showing coronavirus cases up over 200 percent in the last two weeks.

"We've got an increase in testing, and increase in cases, and increase in positive test results." Dr. Matt Heinz is an internist at a Tucson hospital.

"We're going into that surge capacity now, and this is a problem.

Please take this seriously.

We did predict this, and we could have prevented it if we had taken the appropriate steps." The recent spike in cases partially reflects increased testing.

But many of these states are also seeing rising hospitalizations and some are beginning to run short on ICU beds.

A second wave of coronavirus deaths is expected to hit in the United States in September, according to research by the University of Washington.

Dr. Christopher Murray is the director of the university's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

"We see the daily death rate going up again, after having been declining since mid-April at the national level.

And that increase in daily deaths really starts to gather more momentum from mid-September onwards." Its latest model projects 170,000 deaths by Oct.

1, with a possible range between 133,000 and 290,000.


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