US cases jump 72% in 2 weeks; PPE shortages reemerge — 5 COVID-19 updates

The U.S. had another record-setting day July 8, with 62,751 new COVID-19 infections reported, according to The Washington Post. The nation has reported new case records for five of the last nine days, according to The New York Times

Five updates:

1. The global case count doubled in the past six weeks to more than 12 million infections, reports The Washington Post. New cases in the U.S. have increased by 72 percent over a two-week period ending July 7, according to The New York Times. 

2. At least five states set daily COVID-19 case records July 8, while total national cases surpassed 3 million, according to The New York Times. Missouri, Texas, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia all set single-day records for new infections. As of July 8, 24 states reported more cases in one week than any other week. 

3. Many hospitals, nursing homes and physician practices are struggling to obtain enough personal protective equipment for employees, reminiscent of supply challenges the country faced in March, reports The New York Times. Demand for PPE has skyrocketed amid record increases in COVID-19 cases nationwide. Physicians at Houston-based Memorial City Medical Center told NYT they were instructed to reuse N95 masks for up to 15 days. At St. Petersburg (Fla.) General Hospital, healthcare workers said they receive a single surgical mask to wear during rounds each day. Only employees working on a COVID-19 unit receive N95 masks, which are locked up. Some neurologists, cardiologists and cancer specialists have also delayed opening their practices due to a lack of PPE, the American Medical Association and other medical groups told NYT.

4. The CDC is expected to release guidelines for reopening schools this fall, according to a July 8 briefing held by the White House coronavirus task force. The guidelines will outline multiple strategies that address a variety of unique circumstances for different schools, said Robert Redfield, MD, head of the CDC. Guidelines also will include information for parents, recommendations for schools to understand how to characterize symptoms and conduct symptom surveillance, and guidelines for using face masks in the school setting. Dr. Redfield said the guidelines are not to be used as a rationale to keep schools closed. 

5. More than 1.3 million Americans filed initial unemployment claims for the week ending July 4, according to seasonally adjusted data released July 9 by the U.S. Department of Labor. About 99,000 fewer claims were filed this week compared to revised levels for last week. 

Snapshot of COVID-19 in the U.S.

Cases: 3,055,144
Deaths: 132,309
Recovered: 953,420

Counts reflect data available as of 8:10 a.m. CDT July 9.

More articles on public health:
New Jersey will require face masks in outdoor public spaces, governor says
28 states where COVID-19 is spreading fastest, slowest: July 9
Emergence of diseases like COVID-19 linked to environmental destruction

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