(ETH) – The US is now experiencing a record number of new daily cases of coronavirus stressing local hospital systems and forcing new curfews and other restrictions in some parts of the country. And this could be just the tip of the iceberg as fall holidays such as Halloween and Thanksgiving are fastly approaching, and the U.S. has now entered the third peak of daily new cases with no signs of letting up.
This comes as CNBC is reporting that just in the past seven days alone, the country reported an average of about 68,767 new cases every day, which is the highest seven-day average that has been recorded yet. The report came from Johns Hopkins University data. This means the seven-day average is up more than 22% compared with a week ago, according to CNBC’s analysis. Where is this leading?
According to one expert, “We are likely to see a very dense epidemic,” former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Monday. “I think we are right now at the cusp of what is going to be exponential spread in parts of the country.” It should also be noted that the U.S. is also testing more people than it ever has as well, according to data compiled by the Covid Tracking Project.
However, CNBC is quick to stress that more testing cannot account for the rise in cases, according to health officials, because the percent of tests coming back positive has increased as well. About 6.2% of tests were positive on Sunday based on a seven-day average, according to Hopkins, up from 5.2% a week earlier.
“We have one more cycle to get through with this. I know people are exhausted. It’s been very hard on families and on individuals, on businesses especially, but we really have two or three months of the acute phase of this pandemic to get through,” Gottlieb said Monday. “This is going to be the hardest phase probably.”