Enlarge /. KIRKLAND, Wash .: A patient is shielded when he is ambulance on March 7, 2020, outside Kirkland's Life Care Center. Several residents have died of COVID-19, others have tested positive for the novel corona virus.
The US coronavirus situation continues to escalate, the number of cases in the country is well over 550, and over 30 states reported cases on Monday. There were 22 deaths.
Cases in the United States have quintupled compared to last week. However, it is important to remember that these are not necessarily new cases. The boom in disease detection is due to the increased testing by state and local health authorities over the past week, which shows a backlog of cases that may have spread quietly in some places for weeks.
The slowdown in testing has hampered the country's response to the virus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed a coronavirus test early last month, but it quickly encountered technical issues that the agency was slow to resolve. These technical issues have now been resolved, federal regulators have relaxed the rules for developing additional tests, and commercial test kits are being put online. Still, the U.S. is struggling to meet testing requirements as the disease has spread and more people may have been exposed.
While the number of cases is constantly changing, data compiled by Johns Hopkins University researchers at the time of publication indicate at least 565 cases in the United States. These reports come from at least 34 states and the District of Columbia.
Three countries are particularly hard hit: Washington State, which reported the country's first case in January; California, home to hundreds of quarantined citizens returned from China and a cruise ship affected by coronavirus; and New York State, mainly due to an outbreak in Westchester County, a suburb of New York City.
Washington State currently reports 136 cases and 19 deaths. Many of the deaths are the result of a qualified outbreak in King County, Seattle area.
California reports 114 cases, including 24 cases of repatriated citizens, 37 travel-related cases, and at least 14 cases that have spread to a community. At least one death has been reported in California.
The state of New York reports 105 cases, including 82 from Westchester.
Two Florida deaths have also been reported.
The US case count includes 45 cases for repatriated citizens who were passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship and 21 cases for passengers on the Grand Princess cruise ship.
The Grand Princess is currently off the coast of San Francisco, but is expected to dock today. The more than 3,500 on board will be returned to their home countries or placed under a 14-day quarantine.
The Diamond Princess, which was docked in Japan due to a quarantine that ended last month, had an outbreak with at least 696 cases.
As the disease spreads in the United States, experts have spoken more about socially distancing measures in the United States to stop the virus from marching. These include the CDC and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In an interview with the New York Times, Dr. Fauci to the Americans: "Don't go to crowded places, think twice before a long flight, and, for heaven's sake, don't go cruising."
And for those who are older and / or have health problems, he advised, "Don't wait for the community to expand. Now is the time to distance yourself regardless of whether it is common in your community or Not. "