US coronavirus cases surpass 1 million as projections show deaths could rise in coming weeks

CNN's Jake Tapper reports.

Posted: Apr 28, 2020 9:48 AM
Updated: Apr 29, 2020 10:46 AM


The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States topped 1 million on Tuesday as researchers say the number of deaths could rise in coming weeks.

There are at least 1,004,908 cases of the virus across the US, according to a tally from health officials by Johns Hopkins University.

The grim milestone comes after seven coronavirus models anticipate a rise in cases that will depend on how much 'contact reduction' Americans practice, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The models estimate the numbers of cases and deaths on the state and national levels, and one model from the University of Texas at Austin makes metro-area projections.

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'State-level forecasts vary widely, reflecting differences in early epidemic phases, timing of interventions and model-specific assumptions,' the CDC says.

Models that factor in strong contact reduction suggest deaths will continue to occur, but will 'slow substantially over the next four weeks,' the CDC said.

'Conversely, models that do not incorporate as strong contact reductions ... suggest that total deaths may continue to rise quickly.'

One model frequently cited by the White House coronavirus task force has upped its predicted death toll again, this time projecting 74,000 Americans will lose their lives to the virus by August.

The projection was adjusted because of longer peaks in some states and signs that people are becoming more active again, according to Dr. Chris Murray, director of the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Last week, the model projected 67,641 deaths from Covid-19.

States including Georgia, Texas, Michigan, Hawaii and Alaska have started reopening, while Alabama isn't far behind.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said his state is weeks away from changing its stay-at-home order -- yet beaches in the southern part of the state were packed with thousands of people over the weekend. Massachusetts will extend its stay-at-home order and closure of nonessential businesses until May 18, Gov. Charlie Baker said.

'It's a safer strategy to get the number of infections in the community down to a really low level, and then testing and contact tracing and isolation can work,' Murray said Monday.

Georgia, which Murray's team warned shouldn't begin reopening until June 28, started reopening small businesses Friday.

Gov. Brian Kemp said Georgia is 'moving forward with data and information and decisions from the local public health officials, meeting and working within the guidelines of the great plan that the President has laid out.'

Under Trump's own proposal for states to reopen in phases, Georgia does not meet the 'gating' criteria.

Among the guidelines for 'Opening Up America Again,' states shouldn't start to reopen until they have a downward trajectory of documented cases in a 14-day period or a downward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests in a 14-day period.

'We didn't meet the full gating criteria, but we met several of them and we were approaching a plateauing, which made us feel that it would be safe to move forward because we had three things in place,' said Dr. Kathleen Toomey, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health.

The select criteria were adequate hospitalization, testing capacity and an increasing contact-tracing capacity, Toomey said.

As more governors start reopening their states and others set the date, they're pushing to get a better idea of how hard their state has been hit through antibody testing.

Experts warn there's still a lot researchers don't know about the accuracy of the tests, and the World Health Organization has cautioned that no evidence exists yet that antibodies prevent a second infection.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he is encouraged that Covid-19 will respond well to a vaccine, once one is available, because there is evidence that patients 'can mount a natural immune response,' he said.

'There's no guarantee,' he said, 'but the fact that the body can do it gives me cautious optimism.'

Hard-hit cities start testing asymptomatic people

Some cities and states will start testing residents who don't have symptoms to better understand how many people have been infected.

Los Angeles County will expand coronavirus testing Tuesday to include delivery drivers, rideshare drivers and taxi drivers -- even if they feel fine, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said.

'These are folks that are on the frontlines, helping us get to where we need to go, helping us have food delivered to our homes,' he said.

In Boston, 1,000 asymptomatic residents will undergo diagnostic and antibody testing by Friday to evaluate exposure to the virus in the city, Mayor Martin Walsh said.

Georgia public health workers will start visiting randomly selected homes in two of Georgia's largest counties to conduct antibody testing through blood samples. The program is voluntary.

In New York, about 15% of the 7,500 people who have been tested in the state's antibody study have tested positive, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Those tests are 'not ready for prime time,' a former acting director of the CDC told Stat, a health news website.

'As we learn whether that means you are protected in the future, there could be value in that,' Dr. Richard Besser told Stat, but 'the science isn't there yet to be able to say what those tests mean.'

'I worry that people will get a false sense of security and they can change their behavior based on the results of that test, or have a false sense of concern if it's a test that isn't detecting protections that they may actually have.'

Though it's unclear when New York City's schools will reopen (a decision is expected by week's end), the city is adopting a special grading system to accommodate home learning and will stage a special citywide virtual graduation, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

'You may not have the traditional ceremony that you were looking forward to, we're going to give you something you're going to remember for the rest of your life and you will cherish,' he said.

States gear up to reopen in coming weeks

Meanwhile, some governors are moving forward with reopening their economies.

Alabama will replace its stay-at-home order with a safer-at-home mandate beginning Thursday at 6 p.m., allowing employers and beaches to reopen 'subject to good sanitation and social distancing rules,' Gov. Kay Ivey said.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday will outline reopening plans, he said during an Oval Office meeting with President Donald Trump.

Missouri will start next week, with some statewide restrictions set to be lifted Monday, Gov. Mike Parson said.

'Our plan is working, the health care system is not overwhelmed and we are winning the battle,' the governor said.

Under the governor's plan, any business can reopen as long as 6 feet of social distancing can be maintained, and indoor retail businesses will have to limit their number of customers to no more than a quarter of their normal capacity.

In Kentucky, after the state started loosening restrictions for some health care services, the governor said the next phases of reopening will be announced week by week -- with more restrictions loosened weekly, starting May 11.

Gov. Greg Abbott said he will allow his stay-at-home order for Texas to expire April 30. A new order will include an initial first phase of reopening that allows businesses such as retail stores, malls, restaurants and theaters to open Friday with 25% occupancy.

Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources intends to reopen 34 state parks, forests and recreational areas Friday with special conditions to minimize overcrowding and allow for social distancing, Gov. Tony Evers said.

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Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 292082

Reported Deaths: 8858
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1443155217
DuPage17589561
Lake16953487
Will14045378
Kane13159326
St. Clair6665190
Winnebago6037149
Madison5760137
Champaign473320
McHenry4609118
Peoria351050
McLean329523
Rock Island302676
Kankakee275277
Unassigned2532244
Sangamon243245
Kendall202025
Tazewell178025
LaSalle172557
DeKalb159038
Macon156044
Coles147231
Williamson140645
Jackson126224
Clinton119020
Adams114910
Boone112823
Randolph94111
Effingham8722
Vermilion7914
Whiteside75320
Ogle7286
Monroe68016
Knox6723
Grundy6705
Henry6665
Morgan66223
Bureau65211
Jefferson62038
Marion5661
Christian55411
Macoupin5507
Franklin5413
Stephenson5296
Union51524
McDonough48215
Logan4681
Crawford4584
Woodford4266
Fayette4183
Livingston4036
Cass39811
Jersey39415
Shelby3944
Lee3831
Montgomery37613
Iroquois36719
Perry35315
Saline3464
Warren3332
Bond3305
Douglas3147
Wayne2805
Jo Daviess2662
Lawrence2592
Carroll2355
Greene22911
Cumberland2185
Hancock2183
Moultrie2183
Washington2161
Jasper2139
Richland2136
Pulaski1811
Fulton1780
Clark1742
White1690
Wabash1583
Clay1560
Johnson1560
Mason1531
Mercer1405
Piatt1390
Pike1341
De Witt1252
Menard1251
Edgar1138
Massac1132
Ford1055
Marshall1050
Alexander831
Scott790
Gallatin732
Hamilton712
Henderson690
Edwards640
Brown620
Calhoun600
Putnam570
Stark552
Schuyler500
Hardin400
Pope291
Out of IL20

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 118322

Reported Deaths: 3591
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion21502767
Lake10688323
Elkhart6707111
St. Joseph6619113
Allen6330205
Hamilton4938109
Vanderburgh378131
Hendricks2766124
Monroe265536
Tippecanoe256613
Johnson2352124
Clark225957
Porter219947
Delaware200162
Cass19559
Vigo186827
Madison170375
LaPorte149141
Floyd139664
Warrick138242
Howard132663
Kosciusko125917
Bartholomew118457
Marshall101524
Dubois99919
Boone99146
Grant95134
Hancock94643
Noble93132
Henry81226
Jackson7739
Wayne77014
Morgan73438
Daviess68028
Shelby68029
Dearborn67528
LaGrange64011
Clinton62314
Harrison59224
Putnam58411
Gibson5355
Knox5289
Lawrence51629
Montgomery51121
DeKalb48811
White48714
Decatur45939
Miami4394
Greene42735
Fayette42313
Jasper4012
Scott39011
Steuben3907
Posey3460
Sullivan33812
Jennings31612
Franklin31325
Clay3085
Ripley3078
Orange28824
Whitley2826
Carroll27813
Adams2763
Wabash2728
Starke2717
Washington2701
Wells2674
Spencer2633
Jefferson2503
Huntington2473
Fulton2442
Tipton22822
Randolph2238
Perry22113
Jay1920
Newton17411
Owen1711
Martin1680
Pike1641
Rush1574
Vermillion1310
Fountain1292
Blackford1213
Pulaski1141
Crawford1100
Parke1072
Brown1043
Benton870
Ohio797
Union790
Switzerland690
Warren411
Unassigned0226