COVID-19 DIARIES, 2 OCTOBER 2020
The president tested positive. So did nearly 300,000 others.
Nearly 300,000 Americans tested positive for coronavirus this week, including one named Donald J. Trump.
“In medicine and public health, you don’t blame patients when they’re sick. You look for systemic failures,” said Ashish K. Jha, dean of public health at Brown University.
I join millions of others in wanting the president to get better — and in finding that months of denial has turned out to be a lousy public-health strategy.
Here are brief summaries of this week’s virus statistics. There are complete numbers at the end of this report.
- Nationally, cases fell but infection levels are rising fast in multiple states in the Midwest. In fact, more than half of all states saw infection levels rise in September. New York City braced for another possible wave of new infections as new cases shot up among religious communities in Brooklyn and Queens. Also, around 5,000 more Americans died this week as a direct result of the virus.
- California continues to make good progress with all key metrics. New cases and hospital and ICU patients all declined this week. Testing also fell 7%, though that may be a statistical anomaly.
- In Ventura County, cases have been declining for weeks. However, in the past three days new cases have risen above the 14-day average. It’s too soon to say whether this is a trend. The preceding few days’ numbers were quite good. The county might well still move into a lower-risk tier in the state’s ranking system, allowing more places to reopen.
In short, despite modest overall gains this week, there’s still a LOT of virus around. We now have nearly 50,000 new cases per day nationwide, well more than 2x the number we had when the summer surge began in June.
Although a widely available vaccine is likely months away, there are things all of us can do right now to better contain the virus. Step one is awareness: With the president in the hospital, perhaps more Americans now will take the virus seriously.
The other steps are the things we all know: Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Watch your distance. Avoid poorly ventilated indoor spaces. These really work — but only if we all do them.
I wish full and speedy recoveries to president Trump, the first lady, Chris Christie, Hope Hicks, Bill Stepien, Kellyanne Conway, Sens. Lee, Tillis and Johnson, Ronna McDaniel Romney, Notre Dame president Jenkins, three White House reporters, and 11 staffers from Cleveland debate — and I have the same wish for the nearly other 300,000 Americans diagnosed this week.
Here are this week’s numbers, all sourced from covidtracking.com.
US stats for the week ending Friday, October 2 (with % change from previous week):
Total tests (positive, negative, pending): 6,475,759 (+2%)
New cases: 296,433 (-4%)
Cumulative US cases: 7,294,029
Confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations: 30,697 (+3%)
Confirmed COVID-19 ICU: 6,106 (0%)
Deaths: 4,915 (-4%)
Cumulative US deaths: 200,611
CA stats for the week ending Friday, October 2 (with % change from previous week):
Total tests (positive, negative, pending): 816,184 (-7%)
New cases: 23,237 (-4%)
Cumulative CA cases: 794,040
Confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations: 3,166 (-4%)
Confirmed COVID-19 ICU: 796 (-11%)
Deaths: 588 (0%)
Cumulative CA deaths: 15,398