Washington, Jun 24 (efe-epa).- The coronavirus is spreading non-stop through the US South and West as states there – including Florida, Texas, California and Arizona – reopen their economies, and once again new daily records were set on Tuesday, according to data released Wednesday by the health departments of those states.
The increase in cases reported by Texas authorities is noteworthy, where on Tuesday 5,489 newly confirmed coronavirus cases were detected, an unprecedented increase, given that since March 26 the state Health Department had never before reported more than 5,000 new cases on a single day.
Thus, Texas officially has confirmed 120,370 virus cases and suffered 2,220 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
California is also seeing an exponential increase in infections, with 7,149 cases tallied on Tuesday, a 69 percent increase in the past two days and an unprecedented growth in the caseload since records began to be kept on the state’s Web page on March 19.
As a result, California now is reporting a total of 190,220 confirmed virus cases and 5,632 deaths.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said that – in light of the worrisome figures – state authorities cannot continue doing what they have been doing in recent weeks, noting however that it is understandable that many people would be feeling some claustrophobia after being locked down for weeks to limit the spread of the virus.
Meanwhile, Arizona suffered a significant spike on Tuesday both in daily cases and deaths, with 3,593 new cases detected and 42 deaths, while on Wednesday the number of infections was reported at 1,795 along with 79 deaths, according to the state Health Department.
Along the same lines, over the past 24 hours Florida has detected 5,508 new virus cases and 43 deaths, as reported by the state Health Department at 11 am on Wednesday.
With the rise in the case and death figures, Florida now has detected 109,014 cases and suffered 3,281 deaths since March 1, the date on which the pandemic is officially deemed to have hit the state.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said that the increase in the infections was due to a combination of increased testing and “natural” contact among young people.
The growth in infections in the US South and West is motivating other states to adopt precautionary measures and other nations are expressing caution in resuming air connections with the US.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that his state, along with New Jersey and Connecticut, will impose a 14-day quarantine on travelers coming from US Covid-19 hotspots to prevent a new wave of infections in the New England region hardest hit by the pandemic so far.
At a press conference, Cuomo said that New York, which has been the epicenter of the pandemic in the US, has worked very hard to reduce the transmission rate and authorities don’t want that progress to be endangered by allowing travelers from other states to bring in the infection again.
The governors of those three states have agreed to implement the quarantine starting Wednesday evening on travelers from nine states with high infection rates.
Specifically, the quarantine will apply to travelers coming from Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Utah and Texas, but Cuomo said that list could change since authorities will be updating it daily regarding which states to include on it.
Across the US, there have been more than 2.3 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 121,000 deaths so far, making it the nation that has been hardest hit by the virus, according to the independent tally being kept by The Johns Hopkins University.
The university said that on Tuesday there were 34,700 newly confirmed virus cases in the US, a figure not seen since April.
Although the US has not managed to halt the spread of the virus, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at a press conference on Wednesday that he is working with the country’s European allies to see how international travel can be resumed after recent reports that the European Union might not reopen its borders to US travelers due to the markedly high level of Covid-19 in this country.
Pompeo said that it is important for the US that Europeans can travel to this country and very important for Europeans to reconnect completely with the US economy.