(CNN) – At least five states reported one-day records of Covid 19 cases on Friday, adding to growing concern about the number of cases that have caused many states to push their reopening plans.
Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Tennessee, and Utah reported their highest daily case numbers, according to their state health officials. And Florida, possibly the next US epicenter, hit this record again on Saturday with 9,585 cases.
And it’s not just these countries that are seeing increasing numbers. The national number of daily coronavirus case reports, according to Johns Hopkins University, also hit a new high on Friday at nearly 40,000, and the number of new cases increased in 32 states compared to the previous week.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis told reporters Friday that “nothing has changed in the past week”
But the governor of Texas, the second largest state in the United States, “paused” his state’s gradual reopening plan and ordered further restrictions on companies, including bars.
At least nine other states have announced that they will not continue their next reopening phases: Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Nevada, New Mexico and North Carolina.
Metropolitan areas in the United States are experiencing exponential growth in some cases, which means that the development of the virus in the nation is likely to “increase dramatically” Peter Hotez, professor and dean of tropical medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston opposite CNN.
“At least in the subway areas, we now have people wearing masks, the bars are closed, and we have some advocacy coming from the district judge and the mayor,” he said of Texas. “I don’t know how much this will really slow down this incredibly aggressive climb. It’s like trying to prevent a train from moving down the tracks.”
“For heaven’s sake: avoid crowds”
The increase in cases in more than half of the country is due to the fact that after a spring in the house to curb the spread of the virus, people venture outside to enjoy summer activities and casual restrictions.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, urged Americans to go back to basics to prevent the virus from spreading or becoming infected.
“For heaven’s sake, avoid crowds, wear masks. Those are the basics that – when you watch the TV clips, when you see pictures in the newspapers – people don’t. It’s a recipe for disaster,” Fauci said to CNBC.
To this end, many institutions are taking steps to disperse large groups.
A federal judge ruled Friday that the U.S. government would have to release migrant children held in state family detention centers by mid-July. With the consent of their parents or legal guardians, they must be released into the care of a parent or, if this is not possible, “available suitable sponsors or other available COVID-free, non-assembled settings”.
In Texas, the Pride Houston March and Parade agreed to hold a virtual rally instead of a personal event, the organization wrote in a statement on Friday on Facebook.
“Pride Houston understands that we don’t live in a bubble and are in the midst of another public health crisis, the Covid 19 pandemic,” the organization wrote.
And after outbreaks after major beach gatherings, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced on Friday that he would sign an emergency order on Saturday to close all of the county’s beaches for the weekend of July 4th.
The order also prohibits gatherings, including parades, of more than 50 people throughout the county during this time. Fireworks must be seen from home or from parked vehicles, Gimenez said in a statement.
“A cash outage in reality just doesn’t work in a pandemic.”
Reopening bars was a challenge for Florida and Texas as they try to protect themselves from the virus.
“If I could go back and repeat something, it would probably have been to slow down the opening of bars. Now to see how quickly the corona virus has spread in the bar setting – and, as you know, in a bar setting. In fact, a pandemic is working just not, “Greg Abbott, governor of Texas, told CNN subsidiary KVIA.
The Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission temporarily suspended 12 bars in Texas on Monday after being found to violate state protocols to slow the spread. Videos and photos posted by the Commission on Twitter show crowded bars over the weekend without social distance.
In Florida, the Department of Business & Professional Regulation suspended alcohol consumption at bars nationwide for non-compliance on Friday, the state governor said on Friday.
“When people followed the guidelines, we had no problems, you had no problems. The reason DBPR took it is because you had people who didn’t,” said DeSantis. “So people just follow the guidelines. We’ll be in good shape.”
This problem is not limited to Florida and Texas. At least 85 people tested positive for Covid-19 after visiting a pub in East Lansing, Michigan, Linda Ingham County health officer Linda S. Vail told CNN. Previously, 34 were reported to have had a positive test after visiting the restaurant, and Vail expects the number to increase further.
90% or more of the country is vulnerable
More than 2.4 million cases have been reported in the United States and at least 125,039 people have died from the virus. But the actual number of people infected is likely to be ten times higher, officials said.
Antibody tests that test a person’s blood for signs that the immune system has responded to an infection show that more than 20 million people have been infected – most without knowing it, said Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But even with this high number, only between 5% and 8% of Americans are infected with the coronavirus, with the number varying by region. This means that 90% or more have not been infected and are susceptible to the virus. This underscores the need to act aggressively against rising infection rates, said Redfield.
Federal health authorities expanded the list of people at greatest risk of serious complications from Covid-19.
Mild obesity, moderate to severe asthma, pregnant women and such cardiovascular diseases, chronic kidney diseases and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, according to the CDC. This also applies to diseases such as sickle cell diseases, poorly controlled HIV infections, bone marrow transplants or organ transplants.
The agency has also lifted the specific age threshold, declaring that it is not only people over 65 who are at increased risk of serious diseases.
CNN’s Dakin Andone, Nicole Chavez, Jay Croft, Brian Rokus, Shelby Lin Erdman, Sara Weisfeldt, Hollie Silverman, Janine Mack and Nicole Williams contributed to this report.