NEW YORK (Reuters) – In Wisconsin, where US President Donald Trump will hold rallies over the weekend, a record increase in new cases of COVID-19 was registered on Thursday, while New York reported an alarming rise in positive tests for coronavirus. in 20 hot spots. ‘
The 3,000 new infections reported in Wisconsin have raised fears that huge numbers of new patients could fill hospitals. On Thursday, Florida, where four times as many people as Wisconsin, reported 2,628 new cases on Thursday.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has issued an emergency order easing licensing rules in an effort to increase the number of health workers able to cope with the growing crisis.
“Over the past week, our emergency department has had several cases where they no longer work, and they have had to place patients in beds in the hallways,” said a statement from Bellin Health, which operates a hospital in Green Bay, Wisconsin. His intensive care unit was full or nearly full within a week, he notes.
Dr. Ryan Westergaard, chief health officer for the Wisconsin Department of Health, said the outbreak began in young people and has now spread to the community.
“Public gatherings of any kind are now more dangerous than they ever were during the epidemic,” he told CNN on Thursday.
There are many signs that the pandemic is deteriorating in the Upper Midwest. On Thursday, Wisconsin and North Dakota reported a record number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19, while South Dakota also reported a record number of new cases.
According to a Reuters analysis, in September in 27 of the 50 US states the number of new cases of COVID increased compared to August with an increase of 111%.
In New York, which faced the world’s most common outbreak earlier this year, officials said they were concerned about the accumulation of cases in 20 areas of the state, where the average positive test rose to 5.5% the day before.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy have urged residents to download a new voluntary contact search program to their smartphones, launched on Thursday. The app, COVID Alert, uses Bluetooth technology to let users know if they’ve recently been around someone who later tested positive for coronavirus.
Many of New York’s 20 hotspots – half of which are in New York – include Orthodox Jewish communities. Cuomo said he had talked to community leaders about implementing social distancing measures.
“The cluster today can become a community spread tomorrow,” Cuomo told reporters. “These zip codes are not airtight.”
He called on local authorities to strengthen law enforcement measures. “If they don’t wear masks, they should be fined,” Cuomo said.
Wisconsin officials are urging residents to stay home and avoid large gatherings ahead of Trump’s weekend rallies in Janesville and Green Bay ahead of the Nov. 3 election.
A rally in Trump’s offices in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in June was likely to further increase the number of cases there, city health officials said.
Outside the Midwest, western states also face jumps in coronavirus cases. On Thursday, Montana reported a record increase in cases for the second day in a row and had a record number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19.
Report by Jonathan Allen and Maria Caspani in New York and Lisa Shoemaker in Chicago; Edited by Bill Bercrot and Rosalbe O’Brien