As the cold weather sets in, COVID-19 cases are surging in the U.S., exactly what health experts anticipated, with infections mounting across almost every state.
Daily average deaths in the country have increased by 10 percent during the last two weeks, from 721 to nearly 794 deaths on Sunday according to Johns Hopkins University, the Associated Press reports. New cases per day are growing in 47 states and the number of deaths has risen in 34.
Michael Osterholm, a University of Minnesota expert on infectious diseases told the news outlet that the fall surge in cases is owed to three factors: “‘pandemic fatigue’ among people who are weary of hunkering down and are venturing out more; ‘pandemic anger’ among those are don’t believe the scourge is a real threat; and cold weather, which is forcing more Americans indoors, where the virus can spread more easily,” the AP writes.
The virus has led to over 8.6 million confirmed infections and more than 225,000 deaths in the United States, the highest rates across the globe. Worldwide there have been over 43 million cases of COVID-19 and 1.16 million deaths. While deaths in the U.S. are below the late April peak of 2,200, the fall and winter are expected to be bleak, with some experts projecting about 386,000 total deaths by Feb. 1. That grim figure comes from a University of Washington model. The U.S. also saw over 80,000 new cases on Friday and Saturday.
It’s estimated that we won’t have a vaccine until mid-2021.