Coronavirus COVID-19 (2019-nCoV) Thread - Breaking News

31,240,317 total cases
965,068 dead
22,835,563 recovered

In the US:

7,004,768 total cases
204,118 dead
4,250,140 recovered

Yesterday’s numbers for comparison:

I was just looking at the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus site this morning. There have been sudden and sharp rises in several states –

Wisconsin hit a new high of 2469 cases just two days ago, about three times its previous high

Utah of 1038 on the same day, considerably above its previous high of 813 cases

Puerto Rico hit a high of 990, well above its previous high of 719 for a single day.

All of these, as I say, are very sudden, and all appear to still be going up very rapidly.

The states aren’t anywhere near each other. Does anyone know a possible cause? This seems weird.

There continue to be North and South Dakota and surrounding states, but for the most part these aren’t sudden rises, and I think they’re the continuing aftermath of Sturgis. But the ones in Wisconsin, Utah, and Puerto Rico can’t be explained by a single such incident (as far as I know). Yet you’ve got that simultaneous, sudden striking increase.

Here in Canada, lots of news articles have been saying we’re experiencing the second wave, since Ontario’s and Quebec’s daily case counts have been near or exceeded 400 for a few days in a row (numbers not seen since May).

Ottawa: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/ottawa-covid19-second-wave-1.5729505
Ontario general: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/premier-ontario-cases-covid-sept19-1.5731049
Montreal: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/orange-alert-covid-19-1.5731610 (Canada’s epicenter)

Some cities in Quebec changed their guidelines yesterday, because of spikes (as per that last link above):

News sites around here are reporting a second wave in Europe as well: https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/how-it-all-went-wrong-in-europe-as-second-wave-grips-continent-1.5111846

@psychonaut, how are things going in Austria?

I’ve checked in on Quebec from time to time just because of how similar its numbers have been, in many ways, to Sweden’s. Not sure what all differences in approaches there have been, though, from the beginning.

How is Sweden doing now, do you happen to know? Are cases rising there too?

IME, most people in my neighborhood in Montreal weren’t wearing masks (indoors or out) until they were made mandatory indoors, I think in July. Until then, I would often be the only person I saw wearing a mask as I went out to run errands, but after that date I started to see more masks outdoors as well. More, but still 50% of people or fewer (100% indoors, people in my neighborhood have been fine wearing them indoors).

Apparently Quebec reported 586 new cases today, sigh.

I just read this this morning.

…When most of Europe locked down their populations early in the pandemic by closing schools, restaurants, gyms and even borders, Swedes kept enjoying many freedoms.

The relatively low-key strategy captured the world’s attention, but at the same time it coincided with a per capita death rate that was much higher than in other Nordic countries.

Now, as infection numbers surge again in much of Europe, the country of 10 million people has some of the lowest numbers of new coronavirus cases – and only 14 virus patients in intensive care.

“We must recognize that Sweden, at the moment, has avoided the increase that has been seen in some of the other countries in western Europe,” WHO Europe’s senior emergency officer, Catherine Smallwood, said Thursday. “I think there are lessons for that. We will be very keen on working and hearing more from the Swedish approach.”

According to the European Center for Disease Control, Sweden has reported 30.3 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days, compared with 292.2 in Spain, 172.1 in France, 61.8 in the U.K. and 69.2 in Denmark, all of which imposed strict lockdowns early in the pandemic.

Overall, Sweden has 88,237 reported infections and 5,864 fatalities from the virus, or 57.5 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants since the beginning of the crisis.

It remains to be seen if there will be a second wave.

I read the following and almost cried, because this cannot happen in the USA.

…Most of the changes involved voluntary actions by citizens, rather than rules imposed by the government.

This trust given to the population to shoulder personal responsibility in the pandemic puts Sweden at odds with most other countries that used coercive measures such as fines to force compliance.

This is often attributed to a Swedish model of governance, where large public authorities comprised of experts develop and recommend measures that the smaller ministries are expected to follow. In other words, the people trust the experts and scientists to develop reasonable policies, and the government trusts the people to follow the guidelines.

My bold.

Sigh.

thanks @ThelmaLou! Hmm, that’s interesting.

I feel you. There are apparently thousands of people here who don’t trust the experts either: https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/thousands-protest-quebec-s-mask-regulations-in-downtown-montreal-1.5102594 (anti-mask rally fueled by conspiracy theories). Even this small minority of Canadians is pretty scary, to me, I can’t even imagine what people in the US are going through…I hope things change for the better.

For Wisconsin, about half of the new cases in recent days have been among people under 30; this is all coming a few weeks after schools reopened, and many of them reopened to face-to-face learning, including the UW system. I know that UW-Madison has seen a big spike, to the point where they had to stop in-person classes for two weeks, and required residents in several of the high-rise dormitories to quarantine.

So, at least one of the answers to “why the sudden spike,” in this case, is “schools opening up, and college students doing what college students do.”

I went to the state site and couldn’t find this out, but I wonder how many of those college kids were tested in the weeks and months leading up to the return to school. I can readily imagine a scenario where they had no reason or desire to be tested before they returned to school, where testing was then compulsory. You can’t see what you can’t test for – well, in the case of that age cohort, anyway.

Why are only those three states peaking, though? There are colleges and schools opening all over.

Bah - I had found a map earlier that showed a dot map of schools & their plans, but now I can’t find it. What I saw though was that Wisconsin was more in-person than most states, but Utah? Nothing different from most there, it was mostly online.

I think the reason for the uptick is that it has been two weeks since Labor Day weekend. Isn’t there usually an uptick in new cases two weeks after large gatherings?

No. Cases did start to rise over the summer around June 16, which people blamed on Memorial Day, but this seems pretty dubious, since there is no discernable uptick after Easter or Mother’s Day, and cases started dropping about the same amount of time after the Fourth of July. All of these seem much more likely to be occasions for large gatherings than Memorial Day, and yet, nothing happened. (I don’t think I’ve ever even heard of anybody having a Memorial Day party or going out for Memorial Day brunch or anything – it is, after all, a holiday about honoring the war dead!)

31,482,604 total cases
969,298 dead
23,110,086 recovered

In the US:

7,046,216 total cases
204,506 dead
4,299,525 recovered

Yesterday’s numbers for comparison:

No, but it’s a long weekend, and one on which a lot of people traditionally travel, or at least have cookouts, during it. Even if they aren’t specifically “observing” Memorial Day, they’re making use of the holiday weekend.

I suspect, though it’s just a guess, that the spike after Memorial Day was related to the long weekend, as well as stay-at-home orders being lifted, and generally better weather than in the spring. So, a lot of people went out and cut loose after being cooped up all spring.

As the first long weekend of the summer, it’s a big day for barbecues, at least places I’ve lived.

Everywhere I’ve lived, too (not counting off the US bases while overseas). Memorial Day weekend always started BBQ season and Labor Day always ended it. Which reminds me of one of my favorite Married…with Children episodes: Hot Off The Grill.

I don’t know how well the states mentioned here (particularly Wisconsin?) would fit the bill, but wouldn’t one generally expect there to be a set of states that were ‘last to receive the spread’, as it were? It does seem like there has been a clear enough such phenomenon in the US this year, with the Northeast kicking things off and the good old heartland waiting their turn.

Take a look at the graphs. These aren’t “the last to receive” anything. They had their big peak followed by a dying down of infections. What caught my eye is not that the cases were increasing, but that the SHOT UP FAST.

If you haven’t looked at the chart, go do so before you comment further

I see that Texas has a big sudden spike, too, but in that case the spike doesn’t go higher than the previous peak. At least not yet.

Texas must have done something weird in their reporting. That spike is far too massive in one day to be just by chance.