US hits highest 7-day average of coronavirus cases since the pandemic began

As President Trump continues to say the US is turning the corner in the coronavirus pandemic, no state has reported fewer Covid-19 cases this week than last week. CNN's John King breaks down the numbers.

Posted: Oct 26, 2020 1:57 AM
Updated: Oct 26, 2020 4:30 AM


The latest surge of Covid-19 infections has pushed the seven-day average of new daily cases to heights not seen since the pandemic began.

The seven-day average of new cases hit 68,767 on Sunday, topping the previous peak of 67,293 reported on July 22. The two highest single days of new cases were Friday and Saturday, with more than 83,000 new cases added each day.

Health experts say the resurgence of cases that they had warned would strike in the fall and winter is here, and that it could be the worst the US has seen so far. Surging numbers in the US -- where there have been a total of more than 8.6 million infections and 225,230 people have died -- show the nation is at a 'dangerous tipping point,' former US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CBS News on Sunday.

'We're entering what's going to be the steep slope of the curve, of the epidemic curve,' Gottlieb told CBS's Margaret Brennan on 'Face the Nation.'

Though cases are surging across the country, Gottlieb said things are going to start looking worse over the next two or three weeks. He said he doesn't foresee the implementation of forceful policy intervention that could curb the spread.

'If we don't do that, if we miss this window, this is going to continue to accelerate, and it's going to be more difficult to get under control,' he said.

A national mask mandate could be a necessary inconvenience

A national mask mandate could be a way of getting the virus under control, Gottlieb wrote in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal. The article's headline is 'Winter Is Coming: Time for a Mask Mandate.'

'A mandate can be expressly limited to the next two months,' Gottlieb wrote, adding that it's easier to wear a mask in the winter than the summer. 'The inconvenience would allow the country to preserve health-care capacity and keep more schools and businesses open.'

With deaths expected to rise this winter, policymakers will have to make moves to slow the spread, Gottlieb wrote. There already is no support for reinstating the stay-at-home orders from the spring.

If 95% of Americans wore masks in public, more than 100,000 lives could be saved in the United States through February, according to data released Friday by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

'If people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it,' Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN's Erin Burnett on Friday.

Gottlieb wrote that mask mandates have become divisive only because of the way some politicians and political commentators have framed the issue.

'States should be able to choose how to enforce a mandate, but the goal should be to make masks a social and cultural norm, not a political statement,' he wrote.

State leaders back on guard

More than two-thirds of states have reported an increase in cases over the last week, and no state is currently reporting above a 10% improvement. As cases climb, state leaders are pushing for prevention among their residents.

In El Paso County, Texas, where surging cases have pushed all hospitals and intensive care units to capacity, officials have implemented a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for the next two weeks, El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego said during a Sunday night virtual press conference.

'The purpose of the curfew is to limit mobility in the community,' Samaniego said.

Even in Arkansas, where new cases dipped to 797 on Sunday after days of more than 1,000 daily cases, Gov. Asa Hutchinson warned residents not to get too hopeful.

'Our cases decreased yesterday, as is typically the trend over the weekend,' Hutchinson said in a tweet on Sunday. 'While we may want to relax, it's critical that we continue to be disciplined as cases continue to rise nationally.'

A vaccine likely won't protect against the virus until 2021

Researchers may be racing to develop a vaccine, but Gottlieb said it is unrealistic to think one will be ready for distribution in time for this surge.

'This vaccine is not going to affect the contours of what we're going to go through, which is going to play out in the next two or three months,' he said.

Even if a vaccine becomes available this year and goes to the first group of patients, likely the elderly and health care workers, they won't have protective immunity until some point in 2021, Gottlieb pointed out.

'We will know whether a vaccine is safe and effective by the end of November, beginning of December,' Fauci told the BBC on Sunday. 'The amount of doses that will be available in December will not certainly be enough to vaccinate everybody -- you'll have to wait several months into 2021.'

Speaking to the BBC's Andrew Marr show, Fauci added that the vaccination of a 'substantial proportion of the population' such that there can be a 'significant impact on the dynamics of the outbreak' would likely not be possible until the second or third quarter of 2021.

'What I do foresee is that with a successful vaccine and the continuation of some form of public health measures, as we go and progress through the months of 2021, getting towards the third and fourth quarter, we will see a considerable approach towards some form of normality,' Fauci told Marr.

National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins said Friday that while he's 'cautiously optimistic' about the US having a vaccine authorized by the end of the year, he said it 'might not happen and it might take longer.'

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 178110

Reported Deaths: 2468
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah35509570
Washington23824229
Marion20503299
Clackamas15674204
Lane11854144
Jackson10123129
Umatilla800883
Deschutes736872
Linn425664
Yamhill415575
Klamath362559
Polk350352
Malheur343558
Josephine311762
Douglas307066
Benton280219
Jefferson208332
Coos199231
Columbia157526
Union142024
Wasco132028
Lincoln131220
Hood River114029
Morrow108515
Clatsop9118
Crook90719
Baker88114
Curry6069
Tillamook5893
Grant4314
Lake4197
Harney3156
Wallowa1585
Gilliam571
Sherman571
Wheeler261
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3727913

Reported Deaths: 61309
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles123039823736
Riverside2977704555
San Bernardino2953154572
San Diego2759123684
Orange2693524910
Santa Clara1175382025
Kern1081311335
Sacramento1019061653
Fresno1008381654
Alameda857621481
Ventura803981002
San Joaquin718991340
Contra Costa67300782
Stanislaus606771035
Tulare49469831
Monterey43346380
San Mateo41318560
San Francisco36194529
Santa Barbara33926445
Solano32126244
Merced31321454
Sonoma29747318
Imperial28052719
Kings22825246
Placer21979283
San Luis Obispo21038260
Madera16309240
Santa Cruz15759204
Marin13883227
Yolo13606205
Shasta11779219
Butte11643196
El Dorado9831109
Napa973779
Sutter9322110
Yuba613844
San Benito599863
Lassen568524
Tehama545957
Nevada450575
Tuolumne409164
Mendocino399847
Humboldt369738
Amador363247
Lake342143
Glenn236125
Colusa220816
Calaveras206652
Siskiyou197921
Inyo141938
Del Norte12927
Mono12744
Plumas6976
Modoc4924
Mariposa4317
Trinity3985
Sierra1100
Alpine880
Unassigned680
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