Pennsylvania, Colorado and Washington DC are becoming emerging coronavirus hot spots as the United States enters what officials warn will be the ‘hardest’ week of the pandemic crisis.
Those three areas have seen the number of infections and deaths more than double in the past week as the number of deaths nationwide increased to 11,000 and the number of infections rose to at least 368,000.
In Pennsylvania, there were 151 deaths as of Sunday – up from the 42 deaths the state recorded in the week prior.
Colorado recorded 140 deaths by Sunday, which was up from the 45 from the previous week.
Washington DC had nine deaths last Sunday but in a week it rose to 22.
The death toll from coronavirus has been rising in places like Pennsylvania, Colorado and Washington DC as the number of deaths nationwide increased to 11,000 and the number of infections rose to at least 368,000
Dr Deborah Birx, the White House COVID-19 task force coordinator, said Pennsylvania, Colorado and Washington DC were being closely watched as the pandemic rapidly spreads across the country.
‘We’re watching them because they are starting to go on that upside of the curve,’ she said.
‘We’re hoping and believing that if people mitigate strongly, the work that they did over the last two weeks will blunt that curve and they won’t have the same upward slope and peak that New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and part of Rhode Island are having.’
Texas is also experiencing a spike in the number of deaths and infections. The state had 39 fatalities last Sunday but that has since more than doubled to 140.
In terms of current hot spots, New York remains the epicenter of the US outbreak with 599 new fatalities reaching a total of 4,758 deaths and a total of 130,689 cases in the state as of Monday.
Louisiana has become a hot spot for the virus, reporting a jump in deaths to nearly 500 and more than 13,000 cases. The governor has predicted that Louisiana would run out of ventilators by Thursday.
The number of coronavirus-related deaths in Louisiana’s New Orleans has now surpassed the total number of people who died from gun violence over the duration of last year.
In addition to New York and Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Nevada, Illinois, California, Florida, Washington and Connecticut are the other current hot spots in the country due to rising death tolls.
Health officials have warned that the death toll from coronavirus is actually much higher given their is no nationwide stream-lined way of reporting fatalities amid the pandemic.
This map from the University of Chicago highlights in red the country’s hotspots by cases per capita. Many are ‘hidden’ hotspots that are not being spoken about as much as their cases numbers remain low when compared to urban centers but their fatality rates are high
This University of Chicago mao show hotspots by number of confirmed virus cases alone
US Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned on Fox News on Sunday that the country would be entering its hardest week yet amid the pandemic.
‘This is going to be the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans’ lives, quite frankly. This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment, only it’s not going to be localized,’ ‘It’s going to be happening all over the country. And I want America to understand that.’
It comes as most states have ordered residents to stay home except for essential trips to slow the spread of the virus in the US.
But eight states, all of them with Republican governors, have yet to order residents to stay home: Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.
Georgia, which has recorded 6,600 cases and more than 200 deaths, ordered residents to stay home but then allowed some beaches to reopen.
Republican Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson defended his refusal to order statewide restrictions, saying the situation was being watched closely and that his more ‘targeted approach’ was still slowing the spread of the virus.
Adams, the surgeon general, said governors who had not issued month-long stay-at-home orders should at least consider one for the upcoming week.
White House medical experts have forecast that between 100,000 to 240,000 Americans could be killed in the pandemic, even if sweeping orders to stay home are followed.
Peak resource use for hospitals is predicted to occur on April 15 – the day before the peak death toll – where an estimated 25,000 ventilators, 140,000 beds and 29,000 ICU beds will be needed. The data shows the pandemic could be over quicker than initially thought and level out as early as June
The estimated peak day of the US outbreak is expected to occur in 10 days on April 16 with a projected 3,130 deaths that day, the data shows