Coronavirus deaths set to spike in coming weeks following surge in post-lockdown cases, experts warn

By Kashmira Gander
Newsweek
June 15, 2020

The U.S. may be hit by a spike in COVID-19 deaths in the coming weeks, health experts told Newsweek, as over a dozen states have seen cases surge in recent days.

As the country’s first wave of its COVID-19 outbreak continues, cases have been increasing in 27 states over the past 14 days. This has been largely in the south and west, according to CovidExitStrategy.org, a tracking website run by public health and crisis experts. For instance, Hawaii, Arizona, and Florida, have seen their 14-day trend of COVID-19 cases rise by 456, 147 and 129 percent, respectively.

On Sunday, the Washington Post reported the average daily number of new known coronavirus infections had climbed in 21 states compared with the previous week.

And calculations by Reuters showed similar patterns, with Alabama reporting a record number of new cases on Sunday for the fourth day in a row, while Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma and South Carolina had record numbers of new cases over the past three days.

A number of state health officials have tied the spikes to Memorial Day celebrations in late May, Reuters reported. In Texas, hospitalizations rose by 42 percent between Memorial Day weekend and June 10, according to data from the Texas Department of State Health Services. That day, 2,153 people were reported to be hospitalized with COVID-19.

It remains to be seen whether locations where cases are surging will reach a crisis point in terms of hospital capacity, Amanda M. Simanek, associate professor in epidemiology at the Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, told Newsweek.

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