Coronavirus cases continued to surge in nearly a dozen U.S. states over the weekend when Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's leading infectious disease expert, warns of the worrying levels of new infections in the country.
Covid-19 cases grew 5% or more based on a weekly average to smooth daily coverage in 11 states from Sunday. That found a CNBC analysis of the data collected by Johns Hopkins University, up from eight states on Friday.
The states were Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Wisconsin hit a record high on average for new cases every day, reporting 1,353 new infections. This corresponds to an increase of around 32% compared to the previous week, as the Hopkins data shows. Kansas and Montana both hit record highs for new deaths.
The new data comes two days after Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the current data on the US Covid-19 outbreak was "worrying" and inconsistent with President Donald Trump, who told the US – Outbreak is "around" corner. "
While cases are increasing in 11 states, the daily average of new cases in the United States is falling. Over the past seven days, the country has reported an average of 34,300 new cases per day, according to a CNBC analysis of Hopkins data, a decrease of more than 15% from a week. That's far fewer than the roughly 70,000 new cases per day that the US reported weeks ago.
Still, the 34,300 new cases per day are alarmingly high, infectious disease experts say, and U.S. health officials fear the outbreak could worsen as the nation enters the fall and winter seasons. Health officials have repeatedly warned that they are preparing to tackle two bad viruses that will be circulating later this year as the coronavirus outbreak moves into flu season. Earlier this month, Fauci said the daily incidence was "unacceptably high" just before the fall.
Health officials say the US is unlikely to go "back to normal" until a safe and effective vaccine is in place. There are currently no US-approved drugs or vaccines for the virus, although US regulators have approved some emergency treatments for hospitalized patients.
Earlier in the day, the CEO of Pfizer, a frontrunner in the race for a Covid-19 vaccine, said its vaccine could be distributed to Americans before the end of the year if it was found safe and effective.
The company is currently in late-stage testing and hopes to accommodate up to 44,000 participants.
Albert Bourla told CBS "Face the Nation" that the drug company should have key dates from its late study for the Food and Drug Administration by late October. If the FDA approves the vaccine, the company will be ready to give out "hundreds of thousands of doses," he said.
Even if a vaccine is approved for distribution before the end of the year, it is likely to be in short supply. The vaccine is likely to require two doses at different intervals, and states still face logistical challenges such as setting up distribution points and obtaining enough needles, syringes, and bottles needed for immunizations.
Currently, executives can stop new outbreaks by practicing the "basics" of public health and disease control, medical experts and officials say.
The World Health Organization recommends that people wear masks to help slow the spread of the virus. Scientists say Covid-19 can spread through breath droplets that pass when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Studies suggest that the masks can act as a helpful barrier to the spread of infection.
The agency also recommends that people wash their hands regularly, keep their distance from others, and avoid going to crowded places. If you have a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, see a doctor, but if possible, call ahead of time and follow directions from your local health authority, according to WHO.