With businesses and services continuing to open up across the country, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Disease, issued a reality check about the current state of the coronavirus pandemic:
“In a period of four months, it has devastated the whole world,” he said to an audience of the Biotechnology Industry Organization. “And it isn’t over yet.”
Indeed. As summer begins and city and state governments lift COVID-19 related restrictions, statistics in many places appear to be trending the wrong way.
In nine states, the total number of new cases of COVID-19 reported on June 9 was at least 150 more than two weeks prior according to a Fortune analysis of New York Times data. Texas—one of the first states to lift pandemic restrictions—had the largest increase in new cases, reporting 1,945 on June 9 compared to 1,053 new cases on May 26. North Carolina, which reported just 191 new cases on May 26, posted 812 new cases yesterday. Aside from Utah (where gubernatorial candidate John Huntsman, Jr. is among the newly infected), the states with the most worrying figures are in the South. Some leaders have cited increased testing as a factor in the increased case numbers.
Other states, primarily in the Northeast and Northwest, offer a more hopeful picture. New cases reported on those dates had decreased by more than 150 in 10 states. Virginia had the most dramatic decline, with new case reports falling from 1,615 on May 26—a record high, due in part, reportedly, to a delay in reporting—to 487 on June 9. New cases reported in Illinois, meanwhile, dropped by 460 cases between those dates, reporting 776 new cases on June 9, down from 1,258 two weeks prior.
The number of new cases reported across the country yesterday was essentially flat from two weeks prior—18,644 compared to 18,825 on May 26. With the nation’s total cases of COVID-19 fast approaching 2 million, and disease rates across the globe, rising faster than ever, this pandemic is, alas, far from over.
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