According to a report, 5 states account for nearly half of all coronavirus cases in the country this past week.
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The Associated Press reported nearly 44% of positive cases are from the following five states: New York, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. By the numbers, 197,500 new cases of 452,000 were from these areas.
These five states account for 22% of the U.S. population. Dr. Elvin H. Geng, a professor in infectious diseases at Washington University shared with the platform his thoughts on sending more coronavirus vaccines to the aforementioned states.
“You wouldn’t want to make those folks wait because they were doing better,” Geng said to AP. “On the other hand, it only makes sense to send vaccines to where the cases are rising.”
Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, the chair of the department of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California at San Francisco, added “more vaccine needs to be where the virus is.” According to the news report, her belief is that new virus variants are the contibuting factor to the pending surge.
In Florida, experts believe the relaxed restrictions on social distancing and the recent spring break vacation resulted in a number of new COVID-19 cases.
University of South Florida epidemiologist Jason Salemi shared the fear that some are not vaccinating and putting elderly residents in danger. Florida’s seven-day average of daily coronavirus cases has exceeded 5,400, an increase of 20% in the past two weeks with many infections in younger patients.
“We seemingly have the supply,” Salemi said. “Are these people not planning to get vaccinated?”
Michigan is one of the hardest hit of the five states, with only New York reporting higher case numbers. The seven-day average of daily new infections reached 6,719 cases Sunday, double the number of cases two weeks ago, according to AP.
Despite those sobering numbers, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has said she does not plan to put the midwestern state under lockdown restrictions as the COVID-19 numbers rise.
“Taking steps back wasn’t going to fix the issue,” Whitmer said as she got her first vaccine Tuesday at Ford Field in Detroit. “What we have to do is really put our foot down on the pedal on vaccines and urge people to wear masks, keep their social distance, and wash their hands.”
According to The Detroit News, Gov. Whitmer said she is hopeful for summer.
“I think its very possible that there is a path out of a lot of the orders that we’ve had to issue to keep people safe, but it all depends on getting to that 70% number of people who are eligible vaccinated,” Whitmer said. “I think that’s the key to returning to normalcy.”
“If we’re successful and people come in and do their part, we could very well be in that position this summer.”
As theGrio reported in February, President Joe Biden held a candlelight ceremony to mark 500,000 US coronavirus deaths. The first known deaths from the virus in the U.S. happened in early February 2020, both of them in Santa Clara County, California.
It took four months to reach the first 100,000 dead. The toll hit 200,000 deaths in September and 300,000 in December. Then, it took just over a month to go from 300,000 to 400,000 and about two months to climb from 400,000 to the brink of 500,000.
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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as of April 7, there have been 30,596,830 total cases since the beginning of the pandemic and 554,420 deaths. The agency reported 168,592,074 vaccines have been administered. As of April 6, 31 U.S. states were reporting seven-day averages of fewer than 1,000 new daily cases, according to the Associated Press.
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