The number of new coronavirus cases reported in a single day hit a new high on Friday after numerous states began pausing or rolling back their reopening plans.
At least 40,173 new cases were reported, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. The previous daily high was reported on Thursday.
More than 30 states are battling rising numbers and the US is averaging more daily new cases than ever. But Vice President Mike Pence said Friday “we’ve all seen the encouraging news as we open up America again.”
“To one extent or another, the volume of new cases coming in is a reflection of a great success in expanding testing across the country,” Pence said.
The nation’s second most-populous state, Texas reported a record 5,996 new cases on Thursday and another 5,707 cases on Friday.
The federal Health and Human Services Department announced Friday it will continue its support to Covid-19 testing in Texas by allowing allow federal testing sites to operate for an additional 14 days.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, urged Americans to follow guidance and social distancing.
“For goodness sakes: avoid crowds, wear masks. Those are the fundamentals that — when you look at the television clips, when you see pictures in the newspapers, people are not doing that. That’s a recipe for disaster,” Fauci said during an interview with CNBC’s Meg Tirrell.
According Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 5 and 8% of Americans infected
and while more than 2.4 million cases have been diagnosed nationwide since the pandemic started, the number of people who have been infected is likely to be 10 times as high.
He said, Antibody tests show more than 20 million people have been infected with coronavirus, most of them without knowing it.
A coronavirus vaccine is still months away, but an antibody treatment could be closer Antibody tests examine a person’s blood for signs that the immune system responded to an infection. Federal officials have been conducting such tests nationwide to determine how many people had past undiagnosed infections. “A good rough estimate now is 10 to 1,” Redfield said.
Fauci said Friday that the White House coronavirus task force is “seriously considering” pool testing and acknowledged to The Washington Post that the Trump administration’s current strategy isn’t enough.
“Pool testing” mixes several people’s virus test samples into a batch, or pool, and then tests the pooled sample once. If it comes back negative, then all people in the batch can be eliminated at once. If the result is positive, each person’s sample gets analyzed individually.
The mass screening proposal is still in the discussion stage and is not expected to be announced at the task force briefing later Friday.Fauci told CNN.
More states are reporting spike in cases
Coronavirus has killed more than 124,000 people in the United States, and confirmed cases are surging in a majority of the country.
List of most vulnerable is updated, at the because the beginning of the pandemic, health officials focused on the older population and those with underlying health conditions. That idea has changed in the last weeks.
The CDC has removed the specific age threshold, saying it’s not just those over age 65 who are at increased risk for severe illness.
The coronavirus pandemic has moved into younger populations in US, CDC says
More younger people testing positive is a “smoldering fire” that will hit vulnerable populations, said Erin Bromage, a CNN medical analyst and a biology professor at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
Federal health officials expanded the list of who’s potentially most at risk of severe complications from Covid-19.
Mild obesity, moderate to severe asthma, pregnant women and those cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the CDC said.
So are those with conditions such as sickle cell disease, poorly controlled HIV infection, bone marrow transplants or an organ transplant.