“We are beginning to see glimmers that (social distancing) actually have a dampening effect on the spread of the coronavirus,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN Tuesday morning.
“We hope … that we see a turnaround, but we haven’t seen it yet,” he said.
• New York has by far the most US cases (75,700+) and deaths (1,500+). According to a CNN analysis, the average day-to-day increase in the state in the past seven days has been 1
The model estimates that more than 2,000 people could die in the U.S. each day in mid-April if the virus is likely to hit the country hardest.
Doctors and health officials continue to advocate keeping people at home, slowing the spread of the disease, and cushioning the rush to hospitals in hot-spot cities where doctors run out of supplies and equipment to support patients .
“We don’t have a miracle cure (treatment) for this disease, so the best way to prevent infection is,” so we generally have to stay at home, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, chief of infectious diseases in Massachusetts General Hospital, told CNN Tuesday.
Ventilators in New Orleans hospitals could run out at the weekend, Collin Arnold, director of the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, told CNN.
“Staying at home and isolating yourself is the way to overcome this,” he said on Tuesday.
There are still signs that the pandemic is challenging the US economy.
“Stay home, buy us time”
In many parts of the country, entering work feels like entering a war zone for many medical professionals.
“There’s not enough of anything,” said an accident doctor at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. “There are only so many patients who are so sick that it seems impossible to keep up with demand.”
In New York’s Elmhurst Hospital, a doctor told CNN: “We are on the brink of no longer being able to care for patients.”
Another doctor says it may seem easy, but staying at home could also save those who are working to save patients.
“It feels like coronavirus is everywhere and it seems like we have very little to protect ourselves from getting very sick even as a healthcare worker,” said Dr. Cornelia Griggs, a pediatric surgeon at Columbia University, on Monday. “I want everyone at home to know that staying at home is pointless, but not.”
“We all need to be at home to keep the line, to stay at home. Buy us time, smooth the curve.”
The city’s police and firefighters also have problems.
At the New York City Police Department, 1,193 employees – 1,048 uniformed officers and 145 civil workers – had tested positive for coronavirus until Tuesday morning, a law enforcement agency told CNN. According to the source, more than 5,600 division members – about 15% of the armed forces – were sick on Tuesday.
The New York City Fire Service paramedic, Madelyn Higueros, who works near Elmhurst Hospital, said her shifts were particularly hectic and responded to calls from people with flu-like symptoms.
Her husband, also a medic in the city, tested positive for coronavirus and isolates himself from the family. She has no symptoms.
“Most of the station has had symptoms,” she said. “Those who are still working are so tired … We work over 16 hours a day.”
The city fire department had 282 members tested positive for corona virus, spokesman Jim Long said on Tuesday.
More than two dozen governors have stepped up to fight the spread of the virus, issued enactment orders that now affect more than three-quarters of the American population – and the authorities have started to take action against those who refuse to comply.
In Kentucky, Governor Andy Beshear enacted an executive ordinance on Monday that prohibited residents from traveling to other states with few exceptions and from remanding those returning to Kentucky from another state for two weeks.
“We have more cases in other countries at the moment,” he said. “What it means is that your chances of getting infected and possibly bringing back the coronavirus may be higher in states other than ours. You have to be home anyway.”
In North Dakota, residents returning from any of the 24 states that have been classified as “widespread disease” by the United States disease control and prevention center must also be quarantined for two weeks. These states include California, New York, Illinois and Georgia.
Those who do not follow the instructions to stay at home and keep their distance have consequences.
“Last night I decided to get an arrest warrant against a local church pastor who has deliberately and repeatedly decided to disregard the orders issued by our president, governor, CDC, and Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group,” Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said.
“His ruthless disregard for human life endangered hundreds of people in his community and thousands of residents who could interact with them this week,” he added.
CNN’s Arman Azad, Amanda Watts, Dave Alsup, Tami Luhby, Joe Sutton, Dan Simon, Shimon Prokupecz, Mark Morales, Matthew Hoye and Dianne Gallagher contributed to this report.