Officials fearful Fourth of July weekend gatherings could worsen COVID-19 surge

Officials fearful Fourth of July weekend gatherings could worsen COVID-19 surge

A man wears a face mask as he shops for fireworks for his grandchildren, at Wild Willy’s Fireworks tent in Omaha, Neb., Monday, June 29, 2020, ahead of the 4th of July holiday, (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

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The United States has set another record for new coronavirus cases. More than 50,000 new cases were reported Wednesday, a single day record.

For comparison, it took over two months to record that number of cases nationwide when the pandemic started.

New cases have increased in at least 37 states over the past week. But Dr. Anthony Fauci says it’s not too late to turn the surge around.

“It does not have to be 100,000 cases a day,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “I used that number because I wanted to jolt people. If you leave the virus to its own devices, it will take off on you.”

The stark numbers have prompted state officials to issue warnings about gatherings for the Fourth of July weekend. Doctors say it could be a “perfect storm” for another spike.

The mayor of Houston fears hospitals could reach capacity by mid-July if people don’t help change the trajectory.

“Unless the behavior changes and people will engage in social distancing and wearing their masks and proper hygiene, there could reach a point where they are really at their limit,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner.

In Nebraska, officials say people should keep a contact list if they invite guests over for the holiday. They’re also advising outdoor events, if possible, and to avoid sharing things like sunscreen.

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