The changes, following pleas from health officials warning of a holiday crowd and expensive gatherings like the ones witnessed by the U.S. over the weekend on Remembrance Day, are likely to lead to further jumps in coronavirus cases – amid an already raging crisis across the country.
Already, nearly half of U.S. states have halted their plans to reopen as new coronavirus cases have risen to record numbers in recent weeks. City and state leaders attributed part of that rise to gatherings of young groups.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now projects the country to see nearly 148,000 coronavirus deaths by the end of the month. So far, at least 129,676 Americans have died and more than 2.8 million have been infected, according to Johns Hopkins University.
And while many cities have weighed their approaches to the 4th of July celebrations, images taken from the holiday weekend show that not everyone takes the warnings seriously.
Fourth of July crowded
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, saw similar scenes as beachgoers who decided to celebrate by Saturday by the water. Earlier this week, the state governor announced that bars on Delaware beaches would be closed for the weekend holiday.
“It seems pretty common for July 4th with definitely a lot of people,” Marine Lt. Col. Rich Stropky said.
Masks and social distancing are also features that were largely absent in the White House celebration of July 4th. The tables on the White House south lawn were somewhat spaced, with about six chairs per table.
And while people were trying to beat the July heat, many were gathering in shady parts of the space, not distancing themselves at all.
34 countries are recording an increase in new cases
Coronavirus cases are on the rise in 34 states over the past week, with 12 recorded an increase of more than 50%, data from Johns Hopkins University show. Three states – Kentucky, New Hampshire and Vermont — are reporting a drop in cases.
These are states where cases are trending: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico , North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington State, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Cases are stable in 13 states: Arkansas, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.
Florida sets an all-time record
Florida set a record for all coronavirus cases of all time in one day, a total of 11,458 new cases, data from Johns Hopkins University show.
The state has now surpassed the previous one-day high of 11,434 in New York, which was recorded in mid-April.
Florida reported 18 deaths on Saturday.
Despite the sharp rise in cases and warnings from officials that Florida is the new epicenter of the nation, the governor said he has no plans to pull measures to reopen.
There were 8,258 new Covid-19 cases in Texas, according to the latest data released by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). This means the second largest number of cases reported by the state. The previous record was set on July 1, when 9,308 new cases were reported.
Hospitals in at least two counties in Texas have reached their maximum capacity.
In Starr County, at least two patients had to be transferred from the area for treatment.
“Local hospitals and hospitals are in full force and no longer have beds available. I urge all our residents to pray in the shelter, wear face pads, practice social distancing and avoid gatherings,” Judge Eloy Vera said.
In Hidalgo County, Judge Richard Cortez asked residents to take shelter in the place and “only call 911 if absolutely necessary.”
CNN’s Alta Spells, Nicky Robertson, Jason Hoffman, Jeremy Diamond, Chuck Johnston, Kay Jones and Ganesh Setty contributed to this report.
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