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US hits highest 7-day average of coronavirus cases since the pandemic began

As President Trump continues to say the US is turning the corner in the coronavirus pandemic, no state has reported fewer Covid-19 cases this week than last week. CNN's John King breaks down the numbers.

Posted: Oct 26, 2020 11:51 AM
Updated: Oct 26, 2020 11:51 AM

The latest surge of Covid-19 infections has pushed the seven-day average of new daily cases to heights not seen since the pandemic began.

The seven-day average of new cases hit 68,767 on Sunday, topping the previous peak of 67,293 reported on July 22. The two highest single days of new cases were Friday and Saturday, with more than 83,000 new cases added each day.

Health experts say the resurgence of cases that they had warned would strike in the fall and winter is here, and that it could be the worst the US has seen so far. Surging numbers in the US -- where there have been a total of more than 8.6 million infections and 225,230 people have died -- show the nation is at a "dangerous tipping point," former US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CBS News on Sunday.

"We're entering what's going to be the steep slope of the curve, of the epidemic curve," Gottlieb told CBS's Margaret Brennan on "Face the Nation."

Though cases are surging across the country, Gottlieb said things are going to start looking worse over the next two or three weeks. He said he doesn't foresee the implementation of forceful policy intervention that could curb the spread.

"If we don't do that, if we miss this window, this is going to continue to accelerate, and it's going to be more difficult to get under control," he said.

A national mask mandate could be a necessary inconvenience

A national mask mandate could be a way of getting the virus under control, Gottlieb wrote in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal. The article's headline is "Winter Is Coming: Time for a Mask Mandate."

"A mandate can be expressly limited to the next two months," Gottlieb wrote, adding that it's easier to wear a mask in the winter than the summer. "The inconvenience would allow the country to preserve health-care capacity and keep more schools and businesses open."

With deaths expected to rise this winter, policymakers will have to make moves to slow the spread, Gottlieb wrote. There already is no support for reinstating the stay-at-home orders from the spring.

If 95% of Americans wore masks in public, more than 100,000 lives could be saved in the United States through February, according to data released Friday by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

"If people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN's Erin Burnett on Friday.

Gottlieb wrote that mask mandates have become divisive only because of the way some politicians and political commentators have framed the issue.

"States should be able to choose how to enforce a mandate, but the goal should be to make masks a social and cultural norm, not a political statement," he wrote.

State leaders back on guard

More than two-thirds of states have reported an increase in cases over the last week, and no state is currently reporting above a 10% improvement. As cases climb, state leaders are pushing for prevention among their residents.

In El Paso County, Texas, where surging cases have pushed all hospitals and intensive care units to capacity, officials have implemented a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for the next two weeks, El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego said during a Sunday night virtual press conference.

"The purpose of the curfew is to limit mobility in the community," Samaniego said.

Even in Arkansas, where new cases dipped to 797 on Sunday after days of more than 1,000 daily cases, Gov. Asa Hutchinson warned residents not to get too hopeful.

"Our cases decreased yesterday, as is typically the trend over the weekend," Hutchinson said in a tweet on Sunday. "While we may want to relax, it's critical that we continue to be disciplined as cases continue to rise nationally."

A vaccine likely won't protect against the virus until 2021

Researchers may be racing to develop a vaccine, but Gottlieb said it is unrealistic to think one will be ready for distribution in time for this surge.

"This vaccine is not going to affect the contours of what we're going to go through, which is going to play out in the next two or three months," he said.

Even if a vaccine becomes available this year and goes to the first group of patients, likely the elderly and health care workers, they won't have protective immunity until some point in 2021, Gottlieb pointed out.

"We will know whether a vaccine is safe and effective by the end of November, beginning of December," Fauci told the BBC on Sunday. "The amount of doses that will be available in December will not certainly be enough to vaccinate everybody -- you'll have to wait several months into 2021."

Speaking to the BBC's Andrew Marr show, Fauci added that the vaccination of a "substantial proportion of the population" such that there can be a "significant impact on the dynamics of the outbreak" would likely not be possible until the second or third quarter of 2021.

"What I do foresee is that with a successful vaccine and the continuation of some form of public health measures, as we go and progress through the months of 2021, getting towards the third and fourth quarter, we will see a considerable approach towards some form of normality," Fauci told Marr.

National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins said Friday that while he's "cautiously optimistic" about the US having a vaccine authorized by the end of the year, he said it "might not happen and it might take longer."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 312969

Reported Deaths: 3637
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin661641115
Ramsey27766505
Anoka22149228
Dakota22015190
Washington13999115
Stearns13733116
St. Louis8747112
Scott846255
Wright775843
Olmsted665634
Sherburne587641
Clay498457
Carver474213
Blue Earth414116
Rice412836
Kandiyohi408122
Crow Wing359634
Otter Tail314322
Chisago311611
Nobles308730
Benton299451
Winona276930
Mower261623
Douglas260337
Polk256324
Morrison231629
Lyon218711
Beltrami217117
McLeod212812
Becker205415
Goodhue203228
Steele19497
Isanti190617
Itasca190423
Carlton185816
Todd181214
Nicollet162525
Mille Lacs153631
Freeborn15336
Le Sueur147011
Cass143710
Brown141315
Waseca139211
Pine13658
Meeker12879
Roseau11964
Hubbard114925
Martin113320
Wabasha10561
Redwood94619
Chippewa8877
Cottonwood8664
Renville86527
Dodge8600
Watonwan8544
Wadena8016
Sibley7934
Rock7779
Aitkin76730
Pipestone72518
Fillmore6990
Houston6984
Yellow Medicine64812
Pennington6478
Kanabec61913
Murray5873
Swift5838
Faribault5612
Pope5391
Clearwater5248
Stevens5103
Marshall4979
Unassigned49359
Jackson4881
Lake4226
Koochiching3926
Wilkin3895
Lac qui Parle3773
Lincoln3591
Norman3497
Big Stone3182
Mahnomen2964
Grant2796
Kittson2248
Red Lake2133
Traverse1481
Lake of the Woods1001
Cook720

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 227398

Reported Deaths: 2368
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk33642336
Linn14352165
Scott1124986
Black Hawk10893135
Woodbury10372126
Johnson955336
Dubuque923291
Story678822
Dallas637257
Pottawattamie631970
Sioux370325
Webster358535
Cerro Gordo357144
Marshall348546
Clinton331344
Buena Vista305414
Des Moines291520
Muscatine289268
Warren281914
Plymouth276042
Wapello255772
Jones232313
Jasper217944
Marion205320
Lee203917
Carroll198422
Bremer195212
Henry18307
Crawford174616
Benton170619
Tama154340
Jackson144613
Delaware144221
Washington141314
Dickinson139210
Boone137011
Mahaska126827
Wright12456
Clay11784
Buchanan117010
Hardin115810
Page11374
Hamilton11199
Clayton11175
Cedar108413
Harrison107729
Kossuth10667
Calhoun10617
Floyd105016
Mills10487
Fayette103910
Lyon10338
Butler10216
Poweshiek99313
Winneshiek97613
Iowa95812
Winnebago93023
Hancock8677
Grundy86311
Louisa86216
Sac8608
Chickasaw8574
Cherokee8484
Allamakee81811
Cass81623
Mitchell7984
Appanoose79312
Humboldt7715
Union7706
Shelby76511
Emmet76424
Guthrie75415
Franklin73921
Jefferson7142
Madison6864
Unassigned6690
Palo Alto6554
Keokuk5997
Howard5599
Pocahontas5584
Greene5250
Osceola5241
Ida48913
Clarke4874
Davis4709
Taylor4653
Montgomery46311
Monroe44412
Adair4418
Monona4352
Worth3630
Fremont3583
Van Buren3585
Lucas3256
Decatur3170
Wayne3007
Audubon2962
Ringgold2112
Adams1702
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