Early in the pandemic, coronavirus ravaged the northeast. Then, in the spring and early summer, the virus moved on to the southern and western region, with cities like Houston, Miami, Atlanta, and Los Angeles feeling the wrath. Experts have been noticing that after a peak of infections, deaths, and hospitalizations, some regions do the work to get the virus under control. The only issue? It seems as though they immediately start increasing in another. And, according to experts, the latest “rolling hotspot” region in the nation is the midwest. Reuters reports that on Thursday, several midwestern states recorded the biggest one-day increases in new infections since the pandemic started. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus.
Why Are There “Rolling Hotspots”?
According to experts, “rolling hotspots” have more to do with politics and how the pandemic is being handled within the government than anything else. “You have governors, with varying degrees of expertise and who have secretaries of health with varying degrees of expertise, that are developing state level policies … some of them don’t necessarily address issues in the same manner,” Dr. Amesh A. Adalja, senior scholar at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told CNN. He referred to it as “a hodgepodge of policies that don’t necessarily fit the task in many states.” He also blamed the federal response for the tendency of one state repeating the same mistakes that were made previously by other states.
The Midwest Is Hot
While numbers are going down in other parts of the country, the Midwest has experienced an increase during the month of August. According to CNN, the numbers for August were initially dropping, with the seven-day average of new cases per 100,000 people initially going down from 13.00 on August 5 to 12.87 on August 12. However, it started going up on August 19—to 13.57. The percent change in daily new cases was also down 4% the first week with no change the second week. However, last week it spiked to 5%. “There’s a warning sign … Middle America right now is getting stuck,” Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in an interview with Journal of the American Medical Association. “We don’t need to have a third wave in the heartland.” Here are the states where the virus is currently “rolling” through:
Minnesota is a Hotspot
According to The Minnesota Department of Health, the state is experiencing another disturbing peak, recording its first consecutive days of double-digit coronavirus deaths since the third week of June. The number of total infections is also steadily rising, by 4% last week. The state reported 1,158 new cases on Thursday — the highest daily number of new positive cases since Minnesota began tracking cases of the disease in March — and 21,144 new tests. However the state explains that the numbers are likely high due to a two-week backlog of tests and results stemming from a single Minnesota lab. But Minnesota isn’t the only state in the midwest where infections are on the rise.
North Dakota is a Hotspot
Cases rose 30% in North Dakota last week, with the state reporting a record 337 new cases on Thursday, according to the state’s Department of Health.
South Dakota is a Hotspot
A famous annual motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota—fully supported by the state’s Republican governor—may be the reason cases have been increasing in South Dakota. According to the state’s health department, cases have increased 50% since the August 7 to 16 event, attended by 356,000 people from across the nation. According to The Associated Press, at least 100 coronavirus cases in eight states have been traced back to it so far.
Iowa is a Hotspot
Last week infections spiked 7% in Iowa, with the state reporting 1,288 new cases on Thursday.
Illinois is a Hotspot
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, nearly 400 people with COVID-19 are hospitalized in intensive care units across the state with at least 150 on ventilators. It is “the highest number of people receiving critical care because of the coronavirus since late June, the department said.
As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Wear a mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid large gatherings, practice social distancing, wash your hands regularly, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these 37 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch Coronavirus.
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