US Sets Record Daily Average Coronavirus Cases, Increasing in Over 30 States

Co-director of the intensive care unit at the CommonSpirit Dignity Health California Medical Center, Dr. Zafia Anklesaria, 35, who is seven months pregnant, cares for a patient with COVID-19 at the hospital where she works, during Coronavirus disease (COVID -19) outbreak, in Los Angeles, California, USA, May 18, 2020.

Lucy Nicholson | Reuters

Coronavirus cases are growing in more than 30 states, based on a seven-day moving average, as governors in Florida and Arizona suspend their reopens and Texas tightens restrictions once again.

As of Thursday, the seven-day national average of new Covid-19 cases increased more than 38% compared to a week ago, according to CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins University data, reaching a record average of more than 33,000 new cases daily.

Cases increased 5% or more, based on the change in the average number of new cases compared to last week, in 35 states across the country, including California, Florida, Georgia, Texas, and Nevada. Those states were also among the 13 that reached record levels in their average number of new cases daily on Thursday.

Another factor that is closely monitored is hospitalizations, which can indicate the severity of cases in an area. These data may delay the number of new cases.

Covid-19 hospitalizations were growing in 15 states as of Thursday, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by the Covid Tracking Project.

While the increase in the number of daily cases may reflect an increase in testing in certain places, some states report higher positivity rates. The positivity rate indicates the percentage of tests that test positive in a specific region. Epidemiologists say this number may indicate how widely the virus is spreading in a community.

California’s positivity rate has increased slightly to 5.1% in the past two weeks as the state reports record increases in new daily cases. Texas’ positivity rate topped 10% on Wednesday, which is a level that raises a “warning flag,” according to Gov. Greg Abbott. The Arizona rate is also averaging above 10%, according to the state department of health.

On Friday, Abbott announced that Texas would reverse some of its reopening, just a day after he said he would pause the state’s reopening plan.

“As I said from the beginning, if the positivity rate were to rise above 10%, the State of Texas would take further steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” Abbott said in a press release. “Right now, it’s clear that the increase in cases is largely due to certain types of activities, including Texans who congregate in bars.”

All bars and similar establishments that receive more than 51% of their gross income from the sale of alcoholic beverages must close before 12 p.m. M. From Friday, according to the order. Rafting and tubing companies must close, and outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people must be approved by local governments, with certain exceptions.

Abbott announced Thursday that the state would stop any reopening measures, and ordered all licensed hospitals in four counties including the state’s largest cities, Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, and Austin, to postpone elective procedures to protect the hospital capacity for Covid-19 patients.

Texas reported a 79% increase in its weekly average of coronavirus cases on Thursday, averaging 4,757 new cases daily, according to Hopkins data.

When asked about Florida’s reopening, Governor Ron DeSantis said the state has no plans to continue its reopening plan step by step. He added that the state “never anticipated” will continue to make progress on this point.

“We are where we are. I didn’t say we were going to go to the next phase,” DeSantis said at a press conference. His comments come shortly after Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced he would pause to reopen plans for his state as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to rise.

Florida averages around 4,013 new cases daily as of Thursday, representing a 67% increase from a week ago, according to Hopkins data. DeSantis has allowed retailers, restaurants, gyms and personal care services to reopen to a reduced capacity.

Arizona Governor Greg Ducey said Thursday that state hospitals are experiencing additional stress and “are likely to reach overvoltage capacity very soon.”

“Covid-19 is widespread in Arizona. It is in all 15 counties. It is growing and growing rapidly in all age groups and demographics. Anyone can get this virus and anyone can transmit it,” Ducey said at a news conference.

If the state’s reopening were a stoplight, Ducey said it would be in the “yellow” or “cedant” position.

“Proceed with caution, go slower, look both ways,” he said. “This virus is everywhere, it’s likely to be in this room right now, and the actions you take as a citizen will make a difference.”

– CNBC’s Nate Rattner contributed to this report.