July 4th a day of Celebration may lead to National Mourning

di Priscilla Pajdo del July 6, 2020

TORONTO - Covid-19 does not pause to observe holidays nor does it take a vacation. In the USA, there has been a surge in confirmed positive Covid-19 cases which has State officials and medical experts worried.

Americans across the US were tempted to gather all throughout the weekend to celebrate festivities marking Independence Day. The 4th of July is a federal holiday commemorating the Declaration of Independence of the United States.

Now, Covid-19 cases are on the rise. There are over 2.8 million confirmed positive cases according to the Centre for Disease control and Prevention (CDC). Forty jurisdictions have reported over 10,000 cases of Covid-19 to date.

The map of the US, on this page, illustrates the States with the highest concentration of cases, according to the CDC. The dark blue colour indicates those States with more than 40,000 confirmed positive cases as of Saturday, July 4th.

According to the Johns Hopkins University data, the US has reported more than 50,000 new cases on Saturday alone. This is a trend that has been reported for the third day in a row.

The recent surge in the Southern States has alarmed state officials and Canadians alike. Many Canadians enjoy vacationing in those states, Florida being one of the most popular destination points.

It is of concern because Florida, for instance, with 190,052 confirmed positive cases reported the highest daily increase - 11,445 yesterday. This marks the highest single day increase in cases since the start of the pandemic. Compared to Ontario, with over 35,000 confirmed positive cases, the daily increase in Florida cases is roughly 30% of total cases in the province.

Florida’s single day increase of cases on Saturday far exceeds any European country’s single-day tally since the height of the outbreak in Europe.
Miami-Dade, the most populous county in the state of Florida, has the highest number of confirmed positive cases, 44,729. This has Miami-Dade County Mayor, Carlos Giménez holding off on re-opening of casinos, clubs and entertainment venues. Friday, the Mayor imposed an indefinite nightly curfew on party goers and closed beaches over the weekend.

Another Southern State to report a record single-day increase was Texas. Saturday, the state reported 8,258 new cases bringing the total confirmed positive cases to 195,769. In all of Canada, there have only been 105.317. The rate at which newly confirmed cases are climbing has the governor of Texas, Greg Abbot concerned. He ordered the wearing of face coverings across most of the state. This is in contrast to his earlier stance in refusing to let local governments impose such orders.

All across the Southern States there continues to be a rise in daily new cases. Last week, California was at a record high with a 7-day average of 6,402 daily new cases. Saturday, the state reported an increase of 3,718 new cases bringing the total of confirmed positive cases to 248,235.

How does this all compare to us in Ontario? For example, one of our border states, New York, reported 863 new cases bringing the state’s total to 421,637 confirmed positive cases. In Ontario, the province reported only 121 new cases for a total of 35,656 cases province wide.

The Canada-US border remains closed to non essential travel until at least the end of the month. Across the US, some States have lifted their “lockdowns” over the past few weeks. As more people increase their social circle and interact more freely with one another, the next couple weeks will determine the impact these changes will have on case counts.

The Premier of Ontario has said he will not hesitate to reinstate “lockdown” measures if necessary.

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