“There is no question we are having a surge right now,” said Adm. Brett Giroir, the US assistant secretary of health who’s leading the administration’s Covid-19 testing efforts.
“Yes, we are having increased cases, predominantly in the Sun Belt,” Giroir said. “We are having more cases than we did a week ago, two weeks ago, three weeks ago, four weeks ago. That is very clear.”
As of Monday morning, 31 states have seen more new cases this past week compared to new cases from the previous week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
And some places are getting overwhelmed with new hospitalizations or deaths.
Los Angeles reported its highest number of Covid-19 hospitalizations in a day, with at least 2,216 people hospitalized. And more than half of the 2,848 new cases reported Sunday were among people under 41 years old, officials said.In Florida, at least 49 hospitals had no more ICU space available on Sunday, according to data from Florida’s Agency for Healthcare AdministrationArizona reported its highest number of Covid-19 deaths in one day — 147 — according to the Covid Tracking Project and Johns Hopkins. At least two states reported record single-day case increases Saturday, according to data from Johns Hopkins.
Now, some local officials are reluctantly considering another shutdown.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said he was on the “brink” of another stay-at-home order, saying things “reopened too quickly.”
“It’s not just what’s opened and closed, it’s also about what we do individually,” Garcetti said Sunday.
“It’s about the people who are getting together outside of their households, with people they might know. It might be their extended family, it might be friends. They might think because they got a test two weeks ago, that it’s okay. But it’s not.”
The mayors of Houston and Atlanta wanted to backtrack the reopenings in their cities, but faced opposition from their governors. Across the country, more than 3.7 million Americans have been infected with Covid-19, and more than 140,534 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Track the virus in your state and across the US
Governor: Requiring masks was ‘an easy decision’ to protect the economy
While many governors are reluctant to shut down their states again, many are turning to mask mandates instead.
In Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis said his state noticed decreased spread of the virus in places where more people wore face masks. Polis issued a face mask mandate statewide that took effect July 17.
“With the desire to keep the economy open, to maximize the ability to return to school in as safe a way as possible for teachers and for students, the mask mandate was really an easy decision after I saw that data,” Gov. Jared Polis told ABC’s “This Week.”
Doctors and scientists have repeatedly said masks are among the most powerful weapons Americans can use against the virus.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert has urged governors and mayors to be “as forceful as possible” to get Americans to wear face coverings.
In Florida, where daily new cases have tripled in a month, the governor has resisted implementing a mandate and said the state would not be prosecuting people who don’t wear face coverings.
But in the city of Miami, officials are doubling down on an existing mask order. Starting Monday, residents who fail to wear a face mask in public will be fined without first getting a warning. That fine starts at $50 and will increase at every additional offense.
These are the states requiring face masks
Older children can transmit virus as much as adults
With more states reporting surges, local leaders are scrambling to figure out whether or how to get kids back in school.
President Donald Trump has already said he has pressured governors to ensure a return to classrooms across the country in the fall.
In Arizona, 87 healthcare professionals signed a letter urging the state leader to keep schools closed for the first quarter of the school year. The governor has indicated he’ll give more guidance on school reopenings in the coming days.
“We share a common concern: that the tremendous pressure to return to in-person schooling in August is ill-advised and dangerous given the uncontrolled spread of Covid-19 in our community,” the letter said.
The decisions about a return to class come as new research reveals older children (between the ages of 10 and 19) can transmit the virus within a household just as much as adults.
The researchers in South Korea also found that children ages 9 and younger transmitted the virus within their household at rates that were a lot lower.
“Although the detection rate for contacts of preschool-aged children was lower, young children may show higher attack rates when the school closure ends, contributing to community transmission of Covid-19,” the study said.
You asked, we’re answering: Your top Covid-19 questions
CNN’s Raja Razek, Naomi Thomas, Randi Kaye, Ashley Killough, Andy Rose, Hollie Silverman, Miguel Marquez, Paul Vercammen and Jennifer Selva contributed to this report.