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Fauci says second wave is 'not inevitable' as coronavirus cases climb in some states

Coronavirus cases are on an upswing in several states and experts...

Posted: Jun 13, 2020 2:21 PM
Updated: Jun 13, 2020 3:00 PM

Coronavirus cases are on an upswing in several states and experts warn case rates could rise further this summer as states reopen. But the nation's top infectious disease expert said a second wave of the virus later this year is not inevitable.

More than 2 million people in the US have been infected by the virus and at least 114,875 have died from it, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. A forecast published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday projects the death toll could increase to 130,000 by July 4.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said a recent increase in coronavirus cases in a number of states is not necessarily a 'second spike.'

'However, when you start to see increases in hospitalization, that's a surefire situation that you've got to pay close attention to,' Fauci told CNN on Friday.

Fauci also said there may not be a so-called second wave of Covid-19 cases as some health experts are predicting.

'It is not inevitable that you will have a so-called 'second wave' in the fall or even a massive increase if you approach it in the proper way,' he said.

He advised Americans to follow social distancing recommendations and to continue wearing masks in public, among other CDC guidelines.

Meanwhile former CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding, an infectious disease expert who now is an executive vice president at Merck & Co Inc., said Friday that the industry's collaborative efforts and the 130 vaccines in different stages of production points make her cautiously optimistic the pandemic will end with a vaccine.

'I think the science is on our side, but that doesn't say anything about the speed, the safety, and the durability and all of the other criteria that have to come into play before we have something that we can count on to give us that population immunity,' Gerberding said.

There are plenty of roadblocks that can arise between lab testing and putting a product out into the public, she said.

'So, a little scientific humility is also an important component of the communication,' she said.

Highs and lows

As of Saturday morning, at least 13 states were showing an upward trend in average daily cases -- an increase of at least 10% -- over the previous seven days, according to an analysis of Johns Hopkins University data.

But at least 24 states' average daily cases declined more than 10% over those seven days, the data showed.

This is happening while coronavirus testing in the United States is on the upswing. The number of new tests reported per day in the country has generally tripled since mid-April, according to data collected by the Covid Tracking Project.

New York, once the epicenter of the virus in the US, now has the nation's lowest rate of transmission, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said multiple times this week.

On Saturday, the number of Covid-related hospitalizations in New York were at 1,734, the lowest since March 20.

'We've done it. We have tamed the beast. We are now 180 degrees on the other side,' he said.

Elsewhere, numbers have been climbing.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Friday that the state had a record number of cases reported in the previous 24 hours.

In some places, spikes in cases have delayed reopenings.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown put a seven-day pause on moving forward with reopening in light of a rise in cases that followed loosening of restrictions.

'This is essentially a statewide yellow light,' Brown said Friday during a news conference.

And in Baltimore, after an 8% increase in cases since June 5, Mayor Bernard C. Young announced Friday that the city would not be moving into phase 2 of reopening with the rest of the state.

'Let me be crystal clear with everyone: I, more than almost anyone, would love to see that Baltimore City is open and safe, but that simply is not what the data is telling us at this time,' the mayor said.

CDC officials are not confirming striking increases in hospitalizations related to the virus across the country, but they will 'monitor very closely,' Dr. Jay Butler, CDC's deputy director for infectious diseases, said Friday during a call with reporters.

US Surgeon General says virus 'has a high degree of asymptomatic spread'

The US Surgeon General has weighed in on recent questions over how frequently Covid-19 is spread by people without symptoms.

'We now know that this disease has a high degree of asymptomatic spread, which is why we encourage people to wear face coverings,' US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said in an interview published Friday by Detroit TV station WJBK.

It wasn't clear whether Adams was referring to truly asymptomatic people -- those who never show symptoms -- or whether his assessment also included pre-symptomatic people, who eventually show symptoms but may be contagious before that.

On Monday, the World Health Organization sparked confusion when a top official said during a media briefing that 'it still seems to be rare that an asymptomatic person actually transmits onward to a secondary individual.' The next day, the official, Maria Van Kerkhove, clarified that 'this is a major unknown.'

On Wednesday, Fauci told ABC that evidence shows 25% to 45% of infected people likely don't have symptoms, 'and we know from epidemiological studies they can transmit to someone who is uninfected even when they're without symptoms.'

'So to make a statement to say that's a rare event was not correct,' he told ABC's 'Good Morning America.'

Most Americans are following guidelines

Most Americans are adhering to CDC guidelines introduced to mitigate the pandemic, according to a survey from the CDC.

In the survey released Friday, close to 80% of Americans surveyed nationwide said they had self-isolated last month and 85% of New Yorkers said they had when the survey was conducted in May.

Nationwide, 74% of those surveyed said they wore face coverings in public either always or often and those in the hard-hit cities of New York and Los Angeles said they did so about 90% of the time.

And 84.3% of those surveyed believed their state's mitigation strategies were the right balance or even not restrictive enough, the survey team, led by the CDC's Michael Tynan, said in the agency's weekly report.

'Most adults reported they would not feel safe if government-ordered community mitigation strategies such as stay-at-home orders and nonessential business closures were lifted nationwide at the time the survey was conducted, although a minority of these adults who did not feel safe wanted these restrictions lifted despite the risks,' the team concluded.

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Illinois Coronavirus Cases

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

Confirmed Cases: 293448

Reported Deaths: 8881
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1446975221
DuPage17690562
Lake16992487
Will14133379
Kane13182326
St. Clair6729190
Winnebago6069151
Madison5802141
Champaign478920
McHenry4625118
Peoria352651
McLean330523
Rock Island303777
Kankakee276477
Unassigned2542244
Sangamon245045
Kendall203425
Tazewell179525
LaSalle174257
DeKalb160438
Macon159844
Coles148831
Williamson141647
Jackson126724
Clinton120321
Adams118310
Boone113623
Randolph94511
Effingham8792
Vermilion8174
Whiteside76521
Ogle7326
Monroe68616
Knox6803
Grundy6775
Morgan67223
Henry6695
Bureau65911
Jefferson62438
Marion5692
Christian56011
Macoupin5567
Franklin5483
Stephenson5356
Union52024
McDonough49115
Logan4661
Crawford4594
Woodford4286
Fayette4243
Livingston4066
Shelby4024
Cass39811
Jersey39515
Lee3911
Montgomery38213
Iroquois36719
Perry35415
Saline3504
Bond3346
Warren3332
Douglas3167
Wayne2935
Jo Daviess2692
Lawrence2592
Carroll2335
Greene23011
Hancock2233
Moultrie2194
Cumberland2185
Richland2176
Washington2171
Jasper21210
Fulton1880
Pulaski1811
Clark1763
White1690
Johnson1620
Wabash1603
Clay1570
Mason1541
Mercer1415
Piatt1410
Pike1391
De Witt1272
Menard1271
Massac1132
Edgar1128
Marshall1090
Ford1075
Alexander841
Scott790
Gallatin742
Hamilton732
Henderson700
Brown670
Edwards660
Calhoun610
Putnam590
Stark552
Schuyler500
Hardin390
Pope291
Out of IL20

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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

Confirmed Cases: 119066

Reported Deaths: 3612
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion21563768
Lake10745324
Elkhart6734112
St. Joseph6679115
Allen6364205
Hamilton4965109
Vanderburgh384231
Hendricks2779124
Monroe267137
Tippecanoe259013
Johnson2362125
Clark226757
Porter222447
Delaware201162
Cass19589
Vigo187928
Madison171475
LaPorte151941
Warrick140743
Floyd140464
Howard133964
Kosciusko127117
Bartholomew119357
Marshall102124
Dubois100919
Boone99746
Grant96636
Hancock94843
Noble92932
Henry82226
Jackson77610
Wayne77314
Morgan73940
Shelby68329
Daviess68129
Dearborn67928
LaGrange64711
Clinton63414
Harrison59824
Putnam59011
Gibson5455
Knox5379
Lawrence51829
Montgomery51321
DeKalb49111
White48814
Decatur46139
Miami4394
Greene42936
Fayette42314
Jasper4032
Steuben3977
Scott39311
Posey3541
Sullivan33812
Jennings31712
Franklin31525
Clay3105
Ripley3108
Orange28724
Whitley2876
Carroll28013
Adams2773
Wabash2758
Starke2737
Washington2702
Wells2694
Spencer2683
Jefferson2523
Huntington2503
Fulton2462
Tipton22922
Randolph2238
Perry22213
Jay1920
Newton17411
Owen1711
Martin1690
Pike1691
Rush1584
Vermillion1320
Fountain1302
Blackford1223
Pulaski1141
Crawford1100
Parke1072
Brown1033
Benton860
Ohio797
Union790
Switzerland690
Warren411
Unassigned0227