March 26, 2020 – In Breaking News – CIDRAP
Confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, reached 82.404 today in the United States, giving it the most cases in the world.
And yesterday was the most active day so far in the country, with 14,042 new cases reported, and the national death toll reaching 1,069 fatalities.
The numbers came on day 10 of the White House’s “15 days to slow the spread campaign,” a nationwide effort at social distancing measures that has been implemented in a patchwork fashion across the 50 states.
As of yesterday, 21 states had shelter-in-place or stay-at-home mandates that asked the non-essential workforce to remain at home for 14 to 30 days in an effort to slow the spread of the pandemic.
The United States late this afternoon passed both Italy and China to have the most COVID-19 cases in the world, according to the Johns Hopkins online tracker and other similar trackers.
(The U.S. has experienced its deadliest day yet in the battle against COVID-19. While there have been many reports about how bad things are at hospitals with a lack of personnel and supplies, we are now getting our first look inside. Thanks to an emergency room doctor who is sharing video from the epicenter of the outbreak to show just how bad things really are, Inside Edition was taken inside the hard-hit Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, New York, where 13 people died in just one 24-hour period. Courtesy of Inside Edition and YouTube. Posted on Mar 26, 2020.)
Hot spots report faster doubling time
Certain hot spots are appearing to produce a hospitalization rate that was doubling every 2 to 3 days, namely in New York City and in parts of California.
According to the Los Angeles Times, if that rate holds, California hospitals could see a surge in patients in 1 to 2 weeks, according to Mark Ghaly, MD, the state’s secretary of Health and Human Services.
“We originally thought that it would be doubling every six to seven days; we see cases doubling every three to four days,” Ghaly said during a press conference. “[We’re] watching that trend very, very closely.”
To date there have been 3,318 cases reported in California, which was the first state to confirm community spread of the virus, in Santa Clara County, according to the San Francisco Chronicle‘s state case tracker.
Elsewhere, Detroit, New Orleans, and Atlanta all reported quickly filling intensive care units (ICUs) and a dearth of ventilators as those cities see more than 1,000 cases.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said yesterday in a press conference he expects his state to be out of ventilators by the first week of April.
Bel Edwards said his state needs an additional 600 machines.
Over the past 24 hours, Louisiana recorded 510 more cases, raising the state’s total to 2,305 cases, and 83 deaths. Most of the cases are in New Orleans.
According to the CNN, the Louisiana Department of Health reports 676 patients are in hospitals, and 239 are on ventilators.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has also been vocal this week in his request to the federal government for 30,000 more ventilators before COVID-19 cases reach the projected peak in that state in 14 days.
NEW: NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the state has obtained 7,000 ventilators after “scouring the globe,” needs minimum 30,000 more.
— ABC News (@ABC) March 24, 2020
As of yesterday afternoon, New York state reported 37,258 cases, the most of any state in the country, an increase of more than 7,000 cases in 24 hours.
Of those, 21,393 cases are in New York City. During his daily briefing, Cuomo said 5,327 people are currently hospitalized in the state for COVID-19, including 1,290 patients in ICUs.
In both the New York Times and the New York Post, doctors and nurses from some of the busiest hospitals in New York City shared how staff were fashioning protective gowns from garbage bags and allotting one mask per 12-hour shift as hospitals strain under the influx of patients.
(Confirmed coronavirus infections have passed the half-million mark worldwide, with 23,000 deaths. In the U.S., a huge economic relief bill is nearing final approval amid an unprecedented wave of unemployment claims from people who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. And hospitals are strained to the point of collapse. Courtesy of PBS NewsHour and YouTube. Posted on Mar 26, 2020.)