On September 1, the US averaged about 42,290 new cases and by the beginning of October, the average new cases stood at about 42,785, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. That number is double what it was in June, when lockdown restrictions began to ease. Back then, the US averaged roughly 20,000 new cases a day.
“No matter how you slice it, that’s not good,” Fauci said last week about the country’s baseline. “We’re looking at 40,000 new cases per day. That’s unacceptable and that is what we’ve got to get down before we go into the more problematic winter.”
“We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately,” Trump tweeted early Friday. “We will get through this TOGETHER!”
‘We are nearing a crisis’
Experts like Fauci say now is the time for cities and states to double down on safety measures to help combat a coming surge of Covid-19 cases. One of those measures are face masks, which remain the country’s most powerful tool against the virus until a vaccine becomes available.
If 95% of Americans wore masks, around 96,000 lives could be saved by January, according to projections from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).
It also projects more than 370,000 Americans will have died by January. More than 207,000 have already died in the US since the start of the pandemic and more than 7.2 million have been infected.
Local leaders across the US are stressing similar warnings, with 25 states reporting more new Covid-19 cases than the previous week.
Kentucky’s governor urged residents to help slow an “escalation” of cases, while Nebraska this week reported its highest number of new Covid-19 cases since May.
Amid alarming trends, worries for schools
Meanwhile, as communities across the US report worrying Covid-19 trends, more students have returned to class.
In Connecticut, where some communities are reporting an uptick in Covid-19 cases, more than 130 students and school staff tested positive for the virus last week, according to Gov. Ned Lamont.
That number is out of 600,000 or 700,000 students and staff, the governor added.
“Almost all of those who tested positive, that did not happen at school, that did not happen in the classroom, that happened off-campus,” Lamont said.
“Maybe a party, maybe some sports, but that’s — perhaps the classroom is one of the safest places you can be.”
CNN’s Amanda Watts and Kristina Sgueglia contributed to this report.