Manic Mondays: Your Weekly Guide For Living In The COVID Economy
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National records are being broken for the second week in a row, with new U.S. coronavirus cases hitting record levels over the weekend.
Deaths are trending up sharply in a majority of states, including many beyond the hard-hit Sun Belt. At least 3.29 million cases and more than 132,000 deaths have been reported in the United States.
Twenty states and Puerto Rico reported a record-high average of new infections during the past week. Five states also broke records for average daily fatalities during that time: Arizona, California, Florida, Mississippi and Texas.
Across the country, coronavirus case numbers are rising in all but a handful of states, according to the New York Times.
Florida Sets High Pace
On Sunday, Florida added more infections in a day than any state had previously with 15,300 new infections. The previous high was 12,274 in New York on April 4.
On Monday, Florida hit a second-highest single day increase for new cases since the pandemic began.
New cases went down slightly on Monday, when Florida reported another 12,624 coronavirus cases, bringing the statewide total to 282,435. Another 35 fatalities were reported, putting the death toll at 4,277.
In Miami-Dade County in Florida, six hospitals have reached capacity as virus cases spikes. The mayor there has rolled back reopening plans by imposing a curfew and closing restaurants for indoor dining.
“Put politics aside and wear a mask,” Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, a Republic, said on Twitter.
Overall state positivity rate is 10.6%, and on Monday 11.5% of new cases reported tested positive.
Reopenings Rolled Back
Florida isn’t the only state resetting reopenings to get the economy started and allow people to do more outside.
California’s coronavirus cases and hospitalizations have skyrocketed over the past month. Many counties have already closed bars and banned indoor dining, but now even outside activities are being curtailed.
Many Bay Area counties in Northern California enacted tighter rules Sunday and Monday.
Alameda County health officials said they were informed by state officials that outdoor restaurant dining was no longer allowed and restaurants could only be open for drive-through, pickup or delivery service. Indoor restaurant dining has never reopened in Alameda and several other Bay Area counties.
In Contra Costa County on Monday, outdoor dining at restaurants is still allowed, but diners must wear a face mask at all times except when putting food or a drink to their mouth. They must immediately put the mask back on, county health officials said.
Santa Clara County officials on Monday rescinded plans to allow indoor gatherings of up to 20 people. However, the county allowed hair and nail salons, massage parlors and gyms to start reopening Monday.
More coronavirus tests are coming back positive in California. The positivity rate over the previous seven days hit 8.3% Sunday, marking the highest percentage since April.
Political Split On Wearing Masks
Democrats are much more likely than Republicans to wear a face mask, according to a Gallup poll released Monday.
The poll found that 61% of Democrats and 24% of Republicans say they always wear a mask.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended three months ago that Americans wear face masks when in public to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
Outside of the home, poll respondents were more split among party lines on not wearing a mask. It found that 27% of Republicans say they never wear a mask outside the home, compared to 1% of Democrats.
There were also differences based on gender and region.
Women were more likely than men to always wear a face mask outside the home, at 54% of women vs 34% of men.
More people said they always wear masks in certain areas of the country where they live:
- 54% in the Northeast
- 47% in the South
- 42% in the West
- 33% in the Midwest
Pediatricians Change In-School Guidance
The American Academy of Pediatrics on Friday issued a new statement Friday on children returning to in-person school, adding that public health agencies must make recommendations based on evidence, not politics.
Previously, the pediatricians’ group joined groups representing educators in recommending that education and policymakers “should start with a goal of having students physically present in school.”
Physically being in the classroom includes much more than academics, they said. Children learn social and emotional skills at school, get healthy meals and exercise, mental health supports and other services that can’t be easily replicated online.
Their latest statement included that same information, but added that science should drive decision-making on safely reopening schools.
“We should leave it to the health experts to tell us when the time is best to open up school buildings, and listen to educators and administrators to shape how we do it,” they wrote.
Communities with high levels of Covid-19 spread shouldn’t be compelled to reopen against the judgment of local experts, the groups said. “A one-size-fits-all approach is not appropriate for return to school decisions.”
The Trump Administration had proposed withholding federal funds from schools that don’t reopen in person full time. The pediatricians’ group said that’s a misguided approach and that more resources are needed to help schools reopen.