Washington is the latest state to pause its reopening after a spike in the number of new cases of coronavirus across the US.
“We all want to get back to doing all the things we love in Washington during the summer, and fully open our economy, but we aren’t there yet,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Saturday. “This is an evolving situation and we will continue to make decisions based on the data.”
At least 12 other states, including some of the most populous in the US, have taken similar measures in recent days.
More than half of the states are facing a surge of COVID-19 cases and it’s threatening to overwhelm hospitals.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner told reporters that ‘the community’s infection rate is three times higher today than it was three months ago,’
Texas and at least five other states — Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Tennessee, and Utah — reported the highest single-day totals of new coronavirus cases.
According to the state’s health departments, Florida is seen possibly as the next US epicenter, with the state having the highest one-day total of new cases on Saturday with 9,585 cases.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the national number of daily COVID-19 cases reached a new high of nearly 40,000 on Friday, and 32 states are seeing the number of new cases grow from the prior week.
On Friday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told reporters that “nothing has changed in the last week” and the surge was the result of a “test dump.”
Meanwhile, in Texas, the nation’s second-most populous state, the Governor paused his state’s phased reopening plan and ordered further restrictions on businesses including bars.
More governors have announced that they are pausing their next reopening phases. Those states include Arizona, Delaware, Arkansas, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Nevada, North Carolina, and New Mexico.
In a CNN report, Dr. Peter Hotez, a professor and dean of tropical medicine at Houston’s Baylor College of Medicine, said that metropolitan areas across the country seeing exponential growth in cases means the nation will likely see a “dramatic increase” in the virus’ trajectory.
“At least in the metro areas, we’ve got people wearing masks now, the bars are closed and we’ve got some advocacy coming out of the county judge and the mayor,” Hotez said about Texas.
“I don’t know how much this will really slow this incredibly aggressive rise.It’s like trying to stop a train coming down the tracks. ”