coronavirus

Everything to Know About the Coronavirus in the United States

A drive-through COVID-19 screening site in Yorba Linda, California. Photo: MediaNews Group via Getty Images

We’re committed to keeping our readers informed.
We’ve removed our paywall from essential coronavirus news stories. Become a subscriber to support our journalists.

In February, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that the United States should brace for a domestic coronavirus outbreak. Throughout March and April, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. rose dramatically, and the U.S. now has the highest confirmed case count in the world. As of June 18, across every state, Washington, D.C., and four territories have tested positive for the disease, and more than 青青青国产在观免费2018with the virus have died in the U.S.

Globally, more than of COVID-19 have been reported in at least 177 countries, with at least 449,695 deaths so far. In March, the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic, and . Though infection rates have recently begun to decline in the U.S. and Europe, they continue to grow in other parts of the world, and the global infection peak may still be months away.

Here’s everything we know about the spread of the virus in the U.S.

How many new coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the U.S.?

As of June 18, there are at least of COVID-19 in the U.S., and at least 117,832 people with the virus have died.

Though the pandemic appears to have slowed in much of the Northeast and Midwest, thousands of new infections and hundreds of deaths are still being reported across the country each day. New York has had by far the largest outbreak in the country, though the number of new infections and deaths have declined significantly in recent weeks. As of Thursday, the state had and 30,722 deaths, including those presumed to have died from the virus who had not tested positive. While the biggest outbreaks were initially clustered in dense urban areas, the New York Times that on a per capita basis, a number of small cities and rural communities in the South and Midwest have been among the hardest hit. The biggest clusters of cases have been in nursing homes, food-processing plants, and correctional facilities — all places where social distancing is a challenge. Coronavirus cases in prisons and jails have doubled in the past month, and more than 40 percent of deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. have been linked to nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

The recent decline in the number of cases and deaths nationwide suggests that the widespread lockdowns in March and April were effective in slowing the spread of the virus. (A from researchers at Columbia University found that if the U.S. had implemented social-distancing restrictions a week earlier, in early March, about 36,000 fewer Americans would have died.) Now, as the majority of states have lifted stay-at-home orders and reopened nonessential businesses, public-health experts have cautioned that the situation remains dire, and that we could still see a second wave of cases青青青国产在观免费2018. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious-disease expert, this week that despite the optimism from the Trump administration — which has repeatedly downplayed the seriousness of the current outbreak — the nation is still in the first wave.

Over the past three weeks, as have gathered across the country to demand justice in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, epidemiologists have raised concerns that the demonstrations will almost certainly lead to a rise in coronavirus cases. While acknowledging that police violence against Black Americans is also a public-health crisis and that the risk of transmission is generally lower in outdoor settings, public-health experts have urged protesters to wear masks and to stay six feet away from others as much as possible. Tactics used by the police such as spraying tear gas (which causes people to cough) and arresting protesters and putting them in confined spaces, like buses and holding cells, also increase the risk of transmission.

Public-health officials have urged anyone who has attended a protest (including law enforcement) to get tested for COVID-19, regardless of whether they have symptoms. While it may take weeks to see the impact of the protests on the outbreak (and it will be virtually impossible to confirm that new cases are the result of protests rather than reopening efforts), a few early results appear encouraging: In Seattle, thousands of protesters have been tested for the coronavirus, and less than have been positive. Preliminary data from St. Paul and Minneapolis showed that about of protesters had tested positive.

How long will the stay-at-home orders last?

As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 continued to rise throughout March and April, 青青青国产在观免费2018many states urged or ordered residents to stay at home to slow the spread of the virus. As of mid-April, 316 million Americans in 42 states were under orders to stay at home except for essential activities, and suspended in-person classes for the rest of the school year.

The widespread lockdowns have had serious economic consequences, and more than 40 million Americans have lost their jobs since the outbreak began. The Labor Department that another 1.5 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week — making it the 13th straight week that state filings have exceeded 1 million. (Previously, the record number of claims in a single week was 695,000 in 1982.) Though retail sales and the unemployment rate showed some improvement in May, the chair of the Federal Reserve has that the U.S. economy is in a “downturn without modern precedent,” and economists are increasingly concerned that many lost jobs may never come back.

The Times that have now begun to reopen in some way, though public-health officials have warned that reopening too soon — and without widespread testing available — could lead to a resurgence of cases. 青青青国产在观免费2018Testifying before the Senate on May 12, Dr. Fauci that reopening prematurely could lead to needless suffering and death as well as further economic setbacks. “The real risk is that you will trigger an outbreak that you may not be able to control,” Fauci said. His characterization of the situation is a stark contrast to President Trump’s, who recently said, “We have met the moment and we have prevailed.” Trump Fauci’s testimony, once again pushing for a swift reopening of businesses and schools.

In an interview with Fox News on Wednesday, Trump said that the coronavirus is “.” However, according to , 20 states are still seeing increasing numbers of new infections reported each day, and ten states, including Alabama, Arizona, California, 青青青国产在观免费2018Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, and Texas, have reported of new coronavirus cases in the past week.

On a private call with governors on Monday, Vice-President Mike Pence downplayed the current outbreaks, which he described as , and encouraged governors to tell citizens that rising case numbers were the result of expanded testing. While it’s true that testing capacity has increased in many areas, public-health experts have said that it’s misleading to attribute the rise in cases solely to this, and have warned that the outbreak is far from under control.

New York City entered last week, which allows construction and manufacturing workers to return to work and retail stores to open for curbside pickup. Governor Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that the city is on track to start phase two of reopening on Monday, which will allow restaurants to open for outdoor dining, customers to enter retail stores, and workers to return to offices. Cuomo also said he would end his daily coronavirus news briefings this Friday.

On June 20, President Trump plans to hold his first campaign rally since the coronavirus outbreak began at a 20,000-person stadium in Tulsa, Oklahoma. However, the Times that local officials fear the event is likely to lead to a disastrous outbreak at a time when cases in the county are already rising, and have asked the campaign to cancel the rally, or at least hold it outdoors. The Trump campaign has said they will take temperatures and distribute masks and hand sanitizer, adding that it will be “” — though they have also issued a disclaimer requiring attendees to agree not to sue the campaign or the venue if they contract the virus at the event.

What is the federal government doing to fight coronavirus?

In March, President Trump a national emergency over the coronavirus pandemic, effectively freeing up to $50 billion in federal funds to help states and territories fight the spread of the virus, which he said would include expanding access to testing.

On May 24, the Trump administration a new testing strategy, which holds states responsible for planning and carrying out all testing. Public-health experts and Democratic leaders have criticized the proposal, saying that it will pit states against each for supplies and may result in large inequities in testing capacity.

The Trump administration proposal also claims that the country’s current testing capacity — about a day — is sufficient to contain the outbreak. However, public experts say this falls far short of the number of tests needed to stop the spread of the virus, which is more like 5 million tests a day by June and 20 million tests a day by late July. 青青青国产在观免费2018Additionally, Robert Redfield, the head of the CDC, has said that the U.S. will need to add up to 100,000 contact tracers by September to contain the spread of the virus.

On March 19, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the U.S. would close its borders with Canada and Mexico, barring entry to all nonessential travelers. President Trump has also barred entry of all foreign nationals who have been in high-risk countries, including China, Iran, and much of Europe, within the last 14 days. The CDC has against all nonessential travel throughout most of Europe, South Korea, China, and Iran and has advised older and at-risk Americans to avoid travel to any country.

On March 27, President Trump signed a , the largest in modern American history, which sent direct payments of around $1,200 to millions of Americans who earn less than $99,000, along with an additional $500 per child. The went out on April 11. The plan also substantially expands unemployment benefits, including extending eligibility to freelance and gig workers, and provides aid to businesses and companies in distress. The expanded unemployment benefits are set to expire at the end of July, and the Trump administration that it does not plan to extend them, and will focus instead on bringing people back to work. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has extended the tax-filing deadline to July 15, and President Trump signed another $484 billion relief package in late April, which will provide aid to small businesses and funding for hospitals and testing. On May 15, the House a new , which would include nearly $1 trillion in aid to state and local governments, as well as another round of $1,200 payments to Americans.

Researchers have made a number of early steps toward a vaccine that look promising. A that has been tested in eight people appears to be safe and effective, according to the manufacturer, Moderna, which plans to begin additional tests soon. On May 5, Pfizer and the German pharmaceutical company BioNTech announced that they were beginning human trials for a in the U.S., and the U.S. government has pledged to provide up to for vaccine research to the drug company AstrZeneca. However, U.S. government officials have said that producing a widely available vaccine could take a year to 18 months. This week, British scientists that they have identified the steroid dexamethasone as a possible COVID-19 treatment, noting that it has been shown to reduce the death rate of patients on ventilators by a third.

What should I do to minimize my coronavirus risk?

In most cases, COVID-19 is not fatal, but it to elderly people and those with preexisting conditions. According , eight out of ten deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. have been adults age 65 and older. Doctors and medical workers may also be at greater risk, due to their higher-than-average odds of exposure, and data shows that in many areas, including New York, Black and Latino people have been .

On April 10, President Trump said that the CDC is that Americans wear masks when they are out in public, though he stressed that the guidelines were voluntary, and said he would not wear a mask himself. On April 15, Cuomo requiring New York residents to wear face coverings in public settings where they are not able to stay six feet away from other people, including buses, subways, sidewalks, and grocery stores. Los Angeles has also ordered residents to wear masks when visiting essential businesses. 青青青国产在观免费2018As new cases have continued to rise in recent days, a number of Southern cities have also in public settings, including Memphis, Tennessee; Montgomery, Alabama; and Fayetteville, Arkansas. Oregon has mandated masks for more than half of the state’s population, and Arizona has authorized local governments to require them, as well.

The guidance on masks is driven in part by concern about the number of asymptomatic individuals who may be infected and spreading the virus. The prevalence of asymptomatic spread has been a source of recent confusion after a WHO official said last week that transmission of the virus by individuals without symptoms appears to be “very rare.” However, the organization reversed course a day later, on Tuesday that up to 40 percent of transmission may occur through asymptomatic individuals. Fauci has previously estimated that between 25 and 50 percent of people infected with the virus may not experience any symptoms.

If you have symptoms associated with coronavirus — coughing, fever, respiratory issues — call your doctor before showing up at their office: The virus is highly contagious and you want to limit the possibility of spreading it. If you are sick, that you stay home and self-isolate, confining yourself to one room as much as possible and wearing a face mask when you have to interact with others. Wash your hands frequently — soap and water and at least 20 seconds of scrubbing — and avoid touching shared household items, cleaning “high-touch” surfaces (like your phone)青青青国产在观免费2018 regularly. Your health-care provider and even local health department will help you determine how long it’s appropriate for you to keep up these precautions.

Regardless of whether or not you have symptoms, though, keep your hands clean, and seriously, stop touching your face and just stay home.

This post has been updated.

10 States Are Seeing Record Numbers of New Coronavirus Cases