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COVID Cases Rise in South and West Amid Protests

By Carolyn Crist

June 4, 2020 - New cases of coronavirus have popped up in southern and western states during the past week, which could be partially due to recent racial injustice protests, according to CNN.

As of Thursday morning, the U.S. has confirmed more than 1.8 million cases and recorded more than 107,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. first hit cities on the coasts but has now spread to inland states such as Arkansas, Texas and Arizona, the news outlet reported. On Tuesday, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson reported 375 new cases, which is the highest single-day number for the state. More people are hospitalized with COVID-19 than at any other point, he added.

“We continue to trend upward,” Hutchinson said during the press briefing.

Part of this upward climb could be related to nationwide protests about the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Public health officials have encouraged marchers to wear face masks and follow social distancing practices.

“It is a contagious virus. People being outside, people wearing masks, people moving by each other more quickly may reduce the likelihood of significant exponential growth. But that's still the concern,” CNN's chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta said Wednesday.

At the beginning of the pandemic, some officials questioned whether coronavirus cases would decline during summertime months. However, warmer weather won't likely stop the spread, Francis Collins, NIH director, said in a blog post on Tuesday.

“Climate only would become an important seasonal factor in controlling COVID-19 once a large proportion of people within a given community are immune or resistant to infection,” Collins wrote.

Collins discussed recent research about seasonal change and the trajectory of COVID-19. He reminded readers to continue following mitigation measures while treatments and vaccines are developed.

“It's a reminder that physical distancing will remain our best weapon into the summer to slow or prevent the spread of COVID-19,” he wrote. “So, keep wearing those masks and staying 6 feet or more apart!”

WebMD Health News Brief Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH on June 05, 2020.

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Reviewed on 6/8/2020
SOURCE: WebMD, June 4, 2020.

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