Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

U.S. Coronavirus Cases Pass 6 Million, 180,000 Deaths as Schools Struggle to Reopen

Health + Wellness
U.S. Coronavirus Cases Pass 6 Million, 180,000 Deaths as Schools Struggle to Reopen
A student walks past circles for socially distancing on a nearly empty USC campus in Los Angeles, California on Aug. 17, 2020. Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

While the rate of infection is slowing down in the U.S., the recent data shows that the country is far from having the novel coronavirus under control as the number of cases just passed 6,000,000, by far the most in the world, according to The New York Times. In fact, the U.S. has more than one-fourth of the world's 25 million cases.


Even though the number of hospitalizations is trending down, the number of new infections per day remains around 40,000, showing that the surge in cases from the beginning of the summer is having a lingering effect, as The Washington Post reported.

It took just 16 days for the U.S. to jump from 4 million cases to 5 million. Now it's taken 22 days to go from 5 million to 6 million, according to The New York Times database.

While some coastal places that once saw huge spikes in cases — like New York and New Jersey — seem to have the virus under control, a handful of Midwest states are witnessing their numbers trend in the wrong direction. According to Reuters, the upper Midwest, including Iowa, Minnesota and both Dakotas have seen record one-day increases in cases, while further west both Idaho and Montana saw a record number of hospitalizations.

South Dakota hosted an annual motorcycle rally in mid-August, which drew more than 365,000 visitors. So far, 88 cases in the state have been linked to that rally, as Reuters reported.

These numbers have many school leaders and policy makers treading lightly as they look to reopen schools and grapple with how to enforce social distancing policies. As CNN reported, the challenge of reopening colleges is causing concern now that 36 states have reported positive cases at colleges and universities, accounting for nearly 9,000 recent positive cases.

A large portion of those cases are from the University of Alabama, which has had over 1,200 positive cases since the school reopened for classes 12 days ago, according to its website, as CNN reported.

The trend in cases is following where schools are reopening. For example, the counties in Iowa with the most active cases are also the ones that are home to the University of Iowa and Iowa State University, according to Reuters. Similarly, outbreaks in Kansas have been linked to four different sororities, as CNN reported.

In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has acted swiftly to respond to reports of large student gatherings at universities in upstate New York. He announced yesterday that he will send a "SWAT team" to a State University of New York campus in Oneonta to contain a COVID-19 outbreak, according to Reuters. More than 100 people on the campus have tested positive for the virus, forcing the school to suspend in-person instruction for two weeks. That happened just one week after reopening.

"We have had reports of several large parties of our students at Oneonta last week, and unfortunately because of those larger gatherings, there were several students who were symptomatic of COVID," said State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras, as Reuters reported.

Ningaloo Reef near Exmouth on April 2, 2012 in Western Australia. James D. Morgan / Getty Images News

By Dana M Bergstrom, Euan Ritchie, Lesley Hughes and Michael Depledge

In 1992, 1,700 scientists warned that human beings and the natural world were "on a collision course." Seventeen years later, scientists described planetary boundaries within which humans and other life could have a "safe space to operate." These are environmental thresholds, such as the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and changes in land use.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A 3-hour special film by EarthxTV calls for protection of the Amazon and its indigenous populations. EarthxTV.org

To save the planet, we must save the Amazon rainforest. To save the rainforest, we must save its indigenous peoples. And to do that, we must demarcate their land.

Read More Show Less

Trending

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres delivers a video speech at the high-level meeting of the 46th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council UNHRC in Geneva, Switzerland on Feb. 22, 2021. Xinhua / Zhang Cheng via Getty Images

By Anke Rasper

"Today's interim report from the UNFCCC is a red alert for our planet," said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

The report, released Friday, looks at the national climate efforts of 75 states that have already submitted their updated "nationally determined contributions," or NDCs. The countries included in the report are responsible for about 30% of the world's global greenhouse gas emissions.

Read More Show Less
New Delhi's smog is particularly thick, increasing the risk of vehicle accidents. SAJJAD HUSSAIN / AFP via Getty Images

India's New Delhi has been called the "world air pollution capital" for its high concentrations of particulate matter that make it harder for its residents to breathe and see. But one thing has puzzled scientists, according to The Guardian. Why does New Delhi see more blinding smogs than other polluted Asian cities, such as Beijing?

Read More Show Less
A bridge over the Delaware river connects New Hope, Pennsylvania with Lambertville, New Jersey. Richard T. Nowitz / Getty Images

In a historic move, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) voted Thursday to ban hydraulic fracking in the region. The ban was supported by all four basin states — New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York — putting a permanent end to hydraulic fracking for natural gas along the 13,539-square-mile basin, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Read More Show Less