July 4th: Coronavirus Numbers Reach New High Ahead of Holiday Weekend

Independence Day weekend has hardly begun, yet a surge in new coronavirus cases is already apparent. According to a report by CBS News, over 57,000 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the 24 hours between Thursday and Friday evening. The jump was spread across 37 states, and public health experts are concerned over how the holiday weekend could make the situation even worse.

Over 57,000 new coronavirus cases in one day is a massive jump from earlier rates of infection and a bad sign for the ongoing pandemic. Just this week, Dr. Anthony Fauci testified before the United States Senate, saying that they needed to take action after the U.S. crested over 40,000 new cases in a single day. Parades, festivals and other community events have been canceled all over the U.S., while health experts urge Americans to stay at home. Even private gatherings like backyard barbeques are reportedly discouraged, and normally-crowded vacation spots are facing curfews.

COVID-19 has now killed over 129,000 Americans, and the country has over 2.7 million cases in total. Many new infections are coming from states that have tried to partially re-open businesses and public spaces. Last week, Fauci noted that about half of new cases were coming from just four states: Arizona, California, Florida and Texas.

Now, these states are being forced to take steps to scale back their re-opening plans just in time for the Fourth of July. In Miami, beaches that frequently draw huge crowds of tourists are shut down, and the county is under a curfew. Meanwhile, one out of every four people in Houston, Texas, is reportedly testing positive for COVID-19, and the state is looking for ways to keep people from traveling and spreading the virus further.

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"It is going to be very disturbing, I will guarantee you that, because when you have an outbreak in one part of the country, even though in other parts of the country they're doing well, they are vulnerable," Fauci said on Tuesday. "We are now having 40-plus thousand new cases a day. I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around."

Most major gatherings and fireworks displays have been either canceled or scaled back around the U.S., although President Donald Trump is attending one in South Dakota that may draw a crowd as big as 7,500 people. The state's governor, Kristi Noem, has reportedly said that face masks and social distancing will be enforced at the event after Trump's campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma pointedly declined to mandate these measures.