Perhaps more immediately concerning than Friday’s milestone is a recent rise in cases per day. The country’s one-week average of new daily cases has moved above 53,000 — an increase of more than 55% in just over a month, Johns Hopkins data show.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, has warned that is far too high heading into the end of the year.
“You can’t enter into the cool months of the fall and the cold months of the winter with a high community infection baseline,” Fauci said in a John Hopkins virtual event posted Friday.
• Seven states saw a record for Covid-19 hospitalizations Thursday — Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma and Wisconsin, according to the Covid Tracking Project.
• Fourteen states set records for their seven-day average of new daily cases Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins.
And test positivity is much worse in certain states — sitting above 20% Friday in Idaho, Iowa, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Experts including Fauci have said rising positivity rates predict surges in cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
‘The virus is now winning’
More than 30 states accumulated more new Covid-19 cases this past week compared to the previous week, according to data from Johns Hopkins.
The 14 states that reached their highest-ever seven day average of new daily cases were: Alaska, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
New Mexico’s governor called her state’s coronavirus situation “the most serious emergency that New Mexico has ever faced” Thursday.
The state’s test-positivity rate was 8.1%, she said. It’s average of new daily cases over a week — 457 as of Thursday — is more than 400% higher than it was at one point in early September.
That comes just days after she issued new restrictions to help curb the spread of the virus — including a limit on mass gatherings and a 10 p.m. closing time for establishments serving alcohol.
“The virus is now winning,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said. “We’re in uncharted waters.”
In parts of the state, ICU beds are “full,” according to New Mexico Health and Human Services Secretary David Scrase.
“This is a serious time for the state of New Mexico,” Scrase said, adding the state’s curve for seven-day average daily cases was “dwarfing previous curves.”
Masks could save 70,000 lives
It doesn’t have to be this way. Experts have repeatedly said that doubling down on simple safety measures including masks, social distancing and hand washing can help slow transmission of the virus.
Global study finds remdesivir doesn’t help
The agency says this is “conclusive evidence” about the drug — and the findings are disappointing.
Until now, remdesivir was the only drug that appeared to have specific effects for Covid-19 and the only drug with an emergency use authorization specifically for the virus from the US Food and Drug Administration.
Prior to the WHO’s study, a large controlled study of remdesivir in the US found that it shortens recovery time by about a third in severely ill, hospitalized adults with Covid-19, but does little to help those with milder cases.
Gilead Sciences, the drug’s maker, said the findings did not mean the drug is of no benefit.
“The emerging data appear inconsistent with more robust evidence from multiple randomized, controlled studies published in peer-reviewed journals validating the clinical benefit of Veklury (remdesivir),” Gilead said in a statement. “We are concerned that the data from this open- label global trial have not undergone the rigorous review required to allow for constructive scientific discussion.”
CNN’s Amanda Watts, John Bonifield, Raja Razek, Jason Hanna and Ben Tinker contributed to this report.