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US COVID-19 cases rise in 40 states, Fourth of July super-spread looms



  • The US coronavirus outbreak is accelerating at record pace as the typically frenetic Fourth of July weekend approaches.
  • The US set records for new daily coronavirus cases on Wednesday and Thursday, and cases numbers are trending upwards in 40 states.
  • Experts fear that, as with Memorial Day Weekend in May, people will gather, defy health guidelines, and facilitate the spread of the virus.
  • “The most patriotic thing they can do this year is to stay at home,” said Dr. Peter Beilenson, the top health official in Sacramento County, California.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The coronavirus is surging in 40 out of 50 US states, and with the Fourth of July holiday approaching, experts fear it may be about to get worse.

More than 55,000 new US coronavirus cases were reported on Thursday. It marked a new all-time daily high, beating the previous record of 50,000 cases reported the day before.

The Associated Press (AP) also reported on Thursday that 40 out of 50 states were trending upwards in terms of daily new cases.

Heath officials say the rise is caused by people refusing to wear masks and opting not to comply with social-distancing orders.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leading disease expert in the US, said “we’re going to be in some serious difficulty” if people didn’t start following government advice, according to the AP.

Every year, the Fourth of July weekend sees millions of Americans head to beaches and parks to celebrate.

But, due to the threat posed by the virus, some states, like California and Florida, have moved early to close public beaches. Many of them had reopened in June following weeks on lockdown.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 25: A couple wearing American Flag protective masks pose for a photogrpah on Coney Island during the coronavirus pandemic on May 25, 2020 in Brooklyn Borough of New York City. Government guidelines encourage wearing a mask in public with strong social distancing in effect as all 50 states in the USA have begun a gradual process to slowly reopen after weeks of stay-at-home measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)

A couple wearing masks emblazoned with the American Flag on Coney Island, New York, on May 25, 2020.

John Lamparski/Getty Images

A spike in coronavirus cases was observed in early June and was blamed on people celebrating Memorial Day Weekend, and officials are keen not to repeat the event.

“Our numbers are going through the roof,” Dr. Cameron Kaiser, the public-health officer in Riverside County, California, told The New York Times.

“We started seeing more and more cases after Memorial Day and we can’t afford another jump after the Fourth of July.”

Dr. Peter Beilenson, the director of Sacramento County’s department of health services, also told The Times: “The most patriotic thing they can do this year is to stay at home.”

Joshua Barocas, an infectious-disease expert at the Boston Medical Center, said earlier this week that the timing of the spike and the impending holiday “set up a perfect storm,” according to The Guardian.

“The combination of travel, the combination of reopening – perhaps in some cases too early – and the combination of people not necessarily following some of these preventive guidelines.”

fourth of july america

A stock photo of children celebrating the July Fourth holiday.

Ariel Skelley/Getty Images

In Washington, DC, President Donald Trump is stirring up excitement for a July Fourth fireworks display set to be held in the city.

The city’s mayor, Muriel Bowser, said the event contravenes government guidelines on mass gatherings.

“Ask yourself, do you need to be there?” Bowser said. “Do you know if you’ll be able to social distance?”

As of Wednesday, the US — whose citizens make up 4% of the world’s population — accounted for 25% of its coronavirus cases, CNN reported.

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