Texas, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands have recorded declines in Covid-19 cases in the past two weeks alone as the country prepares for a possible “third peak” of the disease.
Although the Lone Star State saw a “slight decrease” in cases over a 14-day period that ended Saturday, its news was better than most: 38 states, Washington, DC, and Guam saw one in the past 14 days Cases surge and nine states have plateaued, according to NBC News Tallies. Rhode Island, which has also seen a net decline like Texas, does not report data over the weekend, and Missouri is currently not reporting data due to a technology problem.
Cases have increased in Vermont and New Mexico as both have increased 1
“We’re really having problems,” said Dr. Todd Vento, director of Intermountain Health’s Telehealth Infectious Disease Program, Utah, told NBC’s “TODAY” show. “People do heroic work, but they really get to the point where it literally won’t be sustainable anymore.”
On Saturday, thousands of people, many without masks, attended a Trump rally in Janesville, Wisconsin, as health officials urge residents not to meet with anyone outside their immediate family. The state, which doesn’t release case numbers over the weekend, posted a record 3,861 new cases on Friday, according to the state health department.
In North Dakota, a whopping 4% of the state has signed Covid-19 since March, with most of those cases occurring within the past few weeks.
North and South Dakota leads the US in weekly virus cases per capita, and intensive care units are filling up across the state, according to an NBC news list. According to the latest data from the North Dakota Department of Health, there are 16 open beds in intensive care in the state, with only one in the capital, Bismarck. The state, which does not have a mask mandate, only recommends its residents to cover their faces.
“In my view, the mask mandate is difficult to enforce,” said Kirby Kruger, director of disease control for North Dakota. “I think there is a section of the population that doesn’t want to do this … it’s not something they think the government should force them to do.”
Governor Doug Burgum has continued to emphasize ownership as the state sees cases increase. “I think it is important for the future of our state that we understand that there is something that is more powerful than an executive order – infinitely more powerful than a mandate – and these are the beliefs that individuals have in their hearts,” said he in a press conference.
Burgum said he was “amazed” that people were still debating the mask mandate because “there is no other way to get someone to wear a mask than for that person to choose it.”
In Texas, where the disease is declining slightly, there have been more than 860,000 cases and nearly 17,500 deaths. While the trends are somewhat positive, on Friday Governor Greg Abbott allocated additional resources to the Panhandle and the South Plains to support the local hospitals there.
“As the communities in Amarillo and Lubbock see increases in COVID-19 hospital stays, the state of Texas is supporting hospitals in these two regions,” Abbott said in a press release.
The almost nationwide surge in cases is due to epidemiologists warning of a possible “third summit” of Covid-19, this time mostly in the Midwest and the plains.
“Between Thanksgiving and New Years, I see we have six weeks of Superspreader events where we can meet up with family and friends,” said Dr. Carlos del Rio, an infectious disease expert at Emory University School of Medicine, told NBC News on Friday. “And we can see a lot of diseases.”