Disaster Discourse: The Hagerty Blog

Disaster Discourse: The Hagerty Blog

COVID-19 CASES EXPERIENCE AN UPTICK IN THE UNITED STATES WHILE EUROPE CONSIDERS REOPENING MEASURES

June 26, 2020 AT 6:00 PM  EDT

On June 25, the United States (US) recorded 40,401 new COVID-19 cases; the highest recorded number of confirmed cases in a single day since the previous record of 36,291 on April 24, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center. The US is currently leading the rest of the world, both in the current official count of COVID-19 cases and reported COVID-19-related deaths; the country reported 2,422,310 cases and 124,416 deaths

The US experienced a 25 percent increase in new COVID-19 cases for the week ended June 21, compared with the prior week. According to a  Reuters analysis Arizona, Florida, and Texas faced  record increases in new cases last week. Of the different states experiencing an increase in infections, Texas faced one of the greatest surges, with 24,000 new COVID-19 cases for the week that ended June 21; increasing 84 percent since the previous week. Florida also experienced a swell of new cases, increasing 87 percent in the prior week to almost 22,000 COVID-19 cases, while Florida’s positive test rate for COVID-19 patients almost doubled to 11 percent. Arizona additionally has experienced an influx of new COVID-19 cases with 17,000 new cases, a 90 percent increase, compared with the previous seven days.

In response to the increase of confirmed cases, Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared the state would “pause” reopening the economy, while Arizona Governor Doug Ducey cautioned Arizona residents to stay at home, without invoking any additional measures. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield stressed that the case numbers within the US were likely to be understated, and the final tally might be far greater than what is currently being reported. The new estimates are based on results from antibody testing that identifies immune cells that react to SARS-CoV-2. Redfield said the new serology tests have shown “about 10 times more people have antibodies in the jurisdictions tested than had documented infections.”

The European Union (EU) aims to lift travel restrictions at its borders starting on July 1, and EU ambassadors met to discuss the criteria necessary to allow travel to Europe, including having an infection rate lower than  the EU. At present, EU diplomats are considering allowing approximately 50 countries to restart flights within the EU, based on the established requirements. This initial list excludes the US, Brazil, and North Macedonia. Travel to and from China would be allowed. 

Victor He: Unsplash

Despite talk of resuming travel, the World Health Organization Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge cautioned that Europe has experienced an increase in weekly COVID-19 cases “for the first time in months” on June 25. Kluge listed 30 countries that have seen an increase in new cases, while an additional  11countries faced a “significant resurgence” in cases that might  “push health systems to the brink once again in Europe” if kept unchecked.

The Hagerty Team encourages our readers to heed advice of international health organizations, government agencies, and local officials when responding to and protecting against COVID-19. The Hagerty Team will continue to provide information and updates on current events and disasters impacting the nation.

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