While deaths from the coronavirus in the U.S. are mounting rapidly, public health experts are seeing a flicker of good news: The second surge of confirmed cases appears to be levelling off.
Scientists aren''t celebrating by any means, warning that the trend is driven by four big, hard-hit places — Arizona, California, Florida and Texas — and that cases are rising in close to 30 states in all, with the outbreak''s centre of gravity seemingly shifting from the Sun Belt toward the Midwest.
Some experts wonder whether the apparent caseload improvements will endure. Nor is it clear when the trend in deaths might change direction.
COVID-19 deaths do not move in perfect lockstep with the infection curve, for the simple reason that it can take weeks to get sick and die from the virus.
The future? “I think it''s very difficult to predict,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government''s foremost infectious-disease expert.
The virus has claimed over 150,000 lives in the U.S., by far the highest death toll in the world, plus more than a half-million others around the globe.
Over the past week, the average number of deaths per day in the U.S. has climbed more than 25 per cent, from 843 to 1,057.
Florida on Thursday reported 253 more deaths, setting its third straight single-day record. The number of confirmed infections nationwide has topped 4.4 million.