Last Friday, the US reported its highest ever single day for COVID-19 infections, with 40,173 in total. As the wave of infections ripples through new parts of the country, the national number remains high.
Older people, and those with pre-existing conditions, are still most vulnerable. Though new cases are becoming common among young people in the south and the west. At least 16 states have set back their reopening process due to the wave reaching them. Officials are particularly concerned about the virus spreading during 4th of July celebrations.
Last weekend, California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered bars and nightclubs in nine counties to close again as a second wave is hitting his state. Imperial County, California is especially hard hit by an outbreak, which is burdening the region’s health system.
Texas has also shutdown its bars once again due to increasing infections. On Monday, a group of bar owners sued to overturn Republican Governor Greg Abbott’s order to close their businesses. The lawsuit objected that nail salons and tattoo studios remain open.
Death rates have not been as high in late June as they were in April when they were moving through populous states like New York and New Jersey. However, as it moves, the wave continues to devastate America’s already weak economy. Consumer spending and hiring have increased across the country, but these trends were supported by a massive government aid package that ends on July 1st.
The only way to end the cycle of lockdowns and re-openings that are devastating the US economy is to end the health crisis. Lockdowns remain the primary tool to slow the growth of cases until there are effective therapies and, ultimately, a vaccine.