Last updated April 7 at 9 a.m. ET.
The U.S. became the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic after reported cases surpassed those officially reported by China. Since the novel coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2 was first detected in the U.S. on Jan. 20, it has spread to at least 368,449 people in the U.S., across all 50 states.
Of the reported cases in the U.S., close to 11,000 people have died from the virus, with more than 4,758 of those deaths in New York, more than 1,000 in New Jersey, 727 in Michigan, 512 in Louisiana and 388 related deaths reported in California. Worldwide, about 1.36 million cases have been reported and 75,973 related deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins virus dashboard.
[Live Science is tracking case counts and relevant news from each U.S. state. Click on your state in the list below.]
—At press briefings on Saturday and Sunday (April 5), President Trump recommended the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine be used to treat coronavirus patients, despite the lack of evidence that the drug can treat the novel coronavirus. Researchers in New York and Washington state are going to test the drug in a study of 2,000 participants who are close contacts of people with confirmed or pending COVID-19 diagnoses.
—Just nine states have governors who have held out on issuing state-wide stay-at-home orders despite calls to do so. These states include: Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming, according to ABC News.
—Between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans could die from COVID-19, even with the social distancing measures already in place, White House medical advisors said Tuesday night (March 31). Without such measures, up to 2.2 million Americans could die from the virus.
—As cases of COVID-19 rise in New York, particularly in New York City, the mayor pleaded with the federal government to help with medical supplies. On Saturday (April 4), 1,000 ventilators donated by the Chinese government and the founders of the online marketplace Alibaba arrived at JFK airport. Oregon is also reportedly donating 140 ventilators to the city.
—Certain hotspots seem to be starting to emerge in the Midwest, according to Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House's coronavirus response coordinator, who added that two counties in particular, Wayne County in Michigan and Cook County in Illinois, are seeing a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases, The Washington Post reported.
US deaths from coronavirus
At least 9,600 Americans have died to date from the novel coronavirus. And that could be just the tip of the iceberg: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that even with stay-at-home and other social-distancing measures, 200,000 individuals in the U.S. could die from this virus. "I think it's entirely conceivable that if we do not mitigate to the extent that we're trying to do that you could reach that number," Fauci said, according to The New York Times. That's according to scientific modeling and other forecasts, Fauci said.
Those same models suggest without these "precautionary measures," between 1.6 million and 2.2 million could die as a result of the virus, said Deborah L. Birx, the lead coordinator of the White House's coronavirus task force, as reported by the Times.
"Some of [the models] predicted half of the United States would get infected," she said, adding that in order for Americans to understand why they're making such sacrifices in abiding by stay-at-home orders, they need reassurance that there's some science behind the measures.
"They have to know that we really built this on scientific evidence and the potential to save hundreds of thousands of American lives," said Birx, according to the Times.
The hospital ship USNS Comfort entered New York Harbor on Monday morning (March 30); it passed the Statue of Liberty on its way to a Manhattan Cruise Terminal pier. The ship, which will be used to treat non-COVID-19 patients, is equipped with 12 operating rooms, with "hospital beds, a medical laboratory, a pharmacy, an optometry lab, digital radiology, a CAT scan, two oxygen-producing plants and a helicopter deck," the U.S. Department of Defense reported. A 1,200-strong medical staff from the U.S. Navy will operate the hospital.
At least 47,439 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in New York City as of Thursday morning (April 2), with 1,374 deaths in the city related to the novel coronavirus. Hospitals across the U.S. are desperate for medical supplies, including personal protection equipment (PPE), such as proper face masks, and ventilators, according to several news reports. In a recent Tweet, an internal medicine resident in New York City, said: "I feel I must tweet because the press does not reflect our reality. The deluge is here. Our ICU is completely full with intubated COVID patients. We are rapidly moving to expand capacity. We are nearly out of PPE. I anticipate we will begin rationing today."
However, on Thursday (April 2), just 20 patients were onboard because of the harsh criteria for who could and could not be treated there. That should change with updated guidelines: "screening for care on the USNS Comfort will be modified and will now occur pier-side in an effort to reduce the backlog at some of the nearby New York hospitals. The screening effort for the USNS Comfort will no longer require a negative test, but each patient will still be screened by temperature and a short questionnaire," the U.S. Department of Defense said in a statement.
US coronavirus hotspots
Cases of this virus are ramping up rapidly in a few U.S. cities, which could become the next epicenters of the virus in the U.S. if the trajectory doesn’t change, according to multiple news reports. Axios reported that cases are rising in Boston, Detroit, New Orleans and Philadelphia.
“It’s important for people to know that everyone’s curve is going to look different. New York is going to look different from Boise, Idaho, Jackson, Mississippi, or New Orleans,” Dr. Jerome Adams, the U.S. Surgeon General, told CBS This Morning on Friday (March 27). Adams added that New York cases could start to decrease next week.
“But we also see hotspots like Detroit, like Chicago, like New Orleans that will have a worse week next week than this week,” Adams added.
On Friday (March 26), New Orleans had 1,170 COVID-19 cases, of the state’s total of 2,746, according to WDSU News. The city of Detroit has reported 1,075 COVID-19 cases, a little under one-third of Michigan’s total, 3,657, clickondetroit.com reported. And Philly has logged 475 cases to date, out of Pennsylvania’s nearly 1,700 cases, CBS Philly reported.
Coronavirus rescue plan
President Donald Trump signed into law a $2 trillion rescue bill on Friday (March 27) in the Oval Office, after the House of Representatives passed it through a voice vote the same day; the U.S. Senate had passed the bill unanimously on Wednesday (March 25), The New York Times reported. There was concern that a representative in the House would demand a so-called "roll call" or recorded vote, in which each member's vote gets recorded through an electronic voting machine. But that takes time, and it means enough representatives voting yes must be present for the vote to pass.
Instead, the representatives used a "voice vote," in which the "presiding officer" states the question and those in favor say "Yea" and those against, "Nay." The presiding officer then announces the result according to their judgment, and the names of the representatives are not recorded.
Here's what the bill looks like, according to a breakdown of the bill by Bloomberg.com: About $532 billion would go to "big business, local government loans and financial assistance," including $61 billion that would go directly to airlines. About $377 billion would go to small business loans and grants. About $290 billion would provide direct payments to families in certain tax brackets; $260 billion in unemployment insurance; $290 billion in tax cuts; and $150 billion for state and local stimulus finds. The following "miscellaneous" funds are also part of the rescue bill: $126 billion to hospitals and other health care facilities; $45 billion for FEMA; $31 billion for education stabilization; $27 billion for vaccines and stockpiles; $25 billion for infrastructure; and $131 billion for "other."
The direct payments to families would go to low- and middle-income families/individuals and would include: $1,200 for each adult and $500 for each child in those households, Bloomberg.com reported.
Coronavirus reshaping American life
At least 38 U.S. states, 48 counties, 14 cities, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico have now ordered residents to shelter in place, affecting at least 297 million people, according to The New York Times. Texas governor left stay-at-home decisions to local governments: Harris County, where Houston resides, Dallas and Tarrant Counties (in the Dallas-Forth Worth region), and Bexar County (home to San Antonio), along with more than a dozen other counties, have all ordered residents to stay at home, the Times reported.
Every U.S. state has implemented some type of school closures, whether across the entire state or varying by school district, some for weeks and some not opening this academic year; the closures have impacted 124,000 public and private schools and at least 55.1 million students. according to Education Week. On Friday (March 13), the CDC issued new guidance on school closure; schools may need to be closed for 8 to 20 weeks to have any impact on the course of the disease. Shorter closures may have no impact, the CDC said, and locales that have closed schools, such as Hong Kong, have not had better containment success than places that have kept them open, such as Singapore.
Though on Sunday (March 29), President Trump extended the stay-at-home recommendation through April 30, the surgeon general Jerome Adams said on April 1 that the federal guidance on social distancing will likely go beyond that date, according to Politico.
Late Friday (March 13), Congress passed a bill meant to help those who have been affected by coronavirus. The bill expands access to free testing, expands sick leave for those who are most vulnerable, and provides food aid. President Donald Trump also declared a national emergency. On Wednesday (March 25), the Trump administration and U.S. senators passed an historic $2 trillion rescue plan to help boost the faltering economy and help hard-hit Americans and industries, NPR reported.
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US coronavirus cases
(Click state name for more info)
Alabama: 2,006 (52 deaths)
Alaska: 191 (6 deaths)
Arizona: 2,456 (65 deaths)
Arkansas: 927 (16 deaths)
California: 16,363 (387 deaths)
Colorado: 5,172 (150 deaths)
Connecticut: 6,906 (206 deaths)
Delaware: 783 (15 deaths)
District of Columbia: 1,097 (24 deaths)
Florida: 13,629 (254 deaths)
Georgia: 7,558 (294 deaths)
Hawaii: 387 (5 deaths)
Idaho: 1,170 (13 deaths)
Illinois: 12,262 (307 deaths)
Indiana: 4,944 (139 deaths)
Iowa: 946 (25 deaths)
Kansas: 845 (25 deaths)
Kentucky: 11,008 (59 deaths)
Louisiana: 14,867 (512 deaths)
Maine: 499 (10 deaths)
Maryland: 4,045 (91 deaths)
Massachusetts: 13,837 (260 deaths)
Michigan: 17,221 (727 deaths)
Minnesota: 986 (30 deaths)
Mississippi: 1,738 (51 deaths)
Missouri: 2,722 (52 deaths)
Montana: 319 (6 deaths)
Nebraska: 412 (8 deaths)
Nevada: 1,953 (46 deaths)
New Hampshire: 715 (9 deaths)
New Jersey: 41,090 (1,003 deaths)
New Mexico: 686 (12 deaths)
New York: 131,916 (4,758 deaths)
North Carolina: 3,039 (48 deaths)
North Dakota: 225 (3 deaths)
Ohio: 4,450 (142 deaths)
Oklahoma: 1,327 (51 deaths)
Oregon: 1,132 (29 deaths)
Pennsylvania: 13,127 (179 deaths)
Rhode Island: 1,082 (27 deaths)
South Carolina: 2,232 (48 deaths)
South Dakota: 288 (4 deaths)
Tennessee: 3,802 (65 deaths)
Texas: 8,088 (151 deaths)
Utah: 1,675 (13 deaths)
Vermont: 543 (23 deaths)
Virginia: 2,878 (54 deaths)
Washington: 8,384 (381 deaths)
West Virginia: 345 (4 deaths)
Wisconsin: 2,440 (77 deaths)
Guam: 121 (4 deaths)
Northern Mariana Islands: 8 (1 death)
Puerto Rico: 573 (21 deaths)
U.S. Virgin Islands: 43 (1 death)
Diamond Princess: 46
Sources: worldometers, Johns Hopkins dashboard, state health departments.
As of April 2, 95 state and local public health laboratories in 50 states and the District of Columbia have working COVID-19 diagnostic tests, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced. As of April 2, the CDC and public labs in the U.S. had tested more than 181,542 specimens; that doesn't equate to that many individuals tested, as labs may run two tests per person to confirm an infection. When commercial labs are added in, a total of nearly 1.3 million COVID-19 tests have been run in the U.S. as of Friday (April 3), according to the COVID Tracking Project.
States differ in their rates of testing, with California completing 33,000 tests with another 59,500 pending results, and New York running 238,965; that's compared with about 5,576 tests in Montana and 2,144 in Oklahoma as of April 2.
To date, the FDA has granted 25 "emergency use authorizations" for COVID diagnostic tests, the FDA reported. Most notably is an EUA for a new serological test, which looks for antibodies in a person's blood that are specific to the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2; such tests will help to identify who has been infected already by the virus and is potentially immune. On April 1, the FDA issued that EUA to Cellex Inc.'s qSARS-CoV-2 IgG/IgM Rapid Test, the FDA reported.
Other tests that received EUA’s include: the San Diego-based Mesa Biotech’s rapid diagnostic test for COVID-19 (called Accula SARS-CoV-2 Test), which delivers results in 30 minutes, Forbes reported. The firm's CEO said the device fits in the palm of your hand and can easily be sent out to point-of-care locations for testing.
Another EUA was granted to California-based company Cepheid for a rapid COVID-19 test whose results take 45 minutes, Live Science reported. There are 5,000 systems in the U.S. capable of running this rapid test, which Cepheid said it would start shipping out March 30.
LabCorp, which processes samples collected by state health departments and hospitals, said in an April 2 statement that the lab “has performed approximately 350,000 tests since first making our COVID-19 test available on March 5th. That number is increasing rapidly now that our lab capacity has reached more than 30,000 tests per day, with even more capacity expected over the coming weeks assuming adequate supplies.”
In addition, Deborah Birx, a member of the president's coronavirus task force, said that the U.S. had granted emergency authorization for Roche holdings to release its automated test, which should rapidly scale up the ability to conduct testing. In a March 30 statement from Roche, the company said it began shipping the tests, called the cobas® SARS-CoV-2 Test, to U.S. labs on March 13 and expects to be able to ship about 400,000 tests per week.
Meanwhile, other headwinds face efforts to scale up testing. Lab directors are worried that they may run out of swabs, reagents and RNA extraction kits needed for mass testing, The New York Times reported. Because many countries are fighting cases in their country, competition for those supplies has increased.
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Originally published on Live Science.