Coronavirus

Coronavirus USA: could states return to lockdown or phase 1?

New positive coronavirus cases in the US show no sign of slowing down with some state governors taking measures to arrest the increase of new cases.

Coronavirus USA: could states return to lockdown or phase 1?
David J. Phillip AP

Coronavirus infections are rising in about 40 states, according to a study of cases for the past two weeks compared with the prior two weeks. Nationally, the United States has broken global records by registering about 60,000 new cases a day for the last four days in a row, according to a study by Reuters.

Hospitalizations and positive test rates are also rising in the states at the centre of the outbreak -- Arizona, California, Florida and Texas.

Health officials have pleaded with the public to wear masks to limit the spread of the virus, but the issue has become politically divisive in the United States unlike many other countries that have seen far lower rates of infection and death.

Seven months into the pandemic, President Donald Trump wore a mask for the first time in public when he visited a Washington D.C.-area military medical centre on Saturday. Trump had previously refused to wear a mask in public or ask Americans to wear face coverings, saying it was a personal choice.

Coronavirus COVID-19 reactions in Atlanta, Georgia.Atlanta (United States), 11/07/2020.- A masked man waits in a long and hot line at a walk-up coronavirus COVID-19 testing site at the Little 5 Points Center for Arts and Community in Atlanta

Many Americans still refuse to wear a mask, which health experts say help stop transmission of the virus that has killed more than 134,000 Americans.

Return to lockdown?

Governor of Texas 
Greg Abbott warned late last week that he may be compelled to implement a return to lockdown if the numbers don't come down with Abbott stressing that a statewide mask order must be followed.

Speaking to CBS News affiliate KLBK-TV, he stated: "the worst is yet to come as we work our way through that massive increase in people testing positive. The only way that we can keep our businesses open, the only way that we can continue to have a job they need to pay their bill is for everyone to adopt this practice of wearing a face mask."

It's a similar picture In Georgia, where cases surged by more than 4,000 on Friday which has led Atlanta officials to revert back to Phase 1 guidelines, in which residents are required to stay home except for essential outings.

"Georgia reopened in a reckless manner and the people of our city and state are suffering the consequences," Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms claimed late last week.

California is another state suffering with an increasing number of daily cases and this surge recently prompted Governor Gavin Newsom to tighten his lockdown orders which saw Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Orange, along with 16 other counties being forced to close bars, movie theatres, museums, zoos, family entertainment sites from the first if July with the restrictions in initially in place for a three week period.