COVID UPDATE: Everything you need to know right now about the pandemic
Categories: Blog

This global pandemic is far from over. In the United States, it’s ramping up dramatically, and nurses are once again in high demand. It’s important to stay updated on spikes, death toll and hospital capacity across the country. Here are all the COVID-19 updates you need to know right now. 

Case Count

  • As of Friday August 7, there were 4.9 million cases in the United States total and 60,608 new cases. 
  • Across the world there are over 19 million cases, and 263,722 new cases. 
  • The United States has by far the largest number of cases of any nation. Following behind the U.S. is Brazil with almost 3 million cases and 49,500 new cases. Then India, which has 2 million cases. India actually surpassed the United States for new cases on Friday, with 61,455.

Death Toll 

  • The United States surpassed 164,000 deaths on Friday, with an average of about 1,200 people dying every day last week. 
  • Across the world, 722,764 people have died. Which means the United States accounts for more than 22 percent of the world’s total death toll. 
  • Worldwide, over 12 million people have recovered from the Coronavirus, or 95 percent of closed cases. Of cases ongoing, only 1 percent, or 54,932, are considered to be critical. Although, many have pointed out the dangerous health effects of even a mild COVID case. 

State Breakdown 

  • According to an NPR tracker, new case numbers are rising or staying at their current rate in most states. 
  • States that have recent growth in newly reported cases over the last 14 days are Oklahoma, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Nebraska, Puerto Rico, Illinois, Montana, South Dakota, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Jersey. 
  • New COVID-19 deaths are increasing most handily in Florida, Mississippi, Texas and Georgia. They’re increasing in 22 states total, also including California, Washington and Tennessee.. 
  • Florida and Texas have reported the newest cases in the last 7 days, totaling over 100,000 cases just in those two states.  While many Northeastern states reported far fewer cases. Vermont only reported 38 cases, Maine only reported 109, and Washington D.C. only reported 461. 
  • California still has the greatest number of total cases, and Vermont has the least. 
  • Hot spots by county include Taylor, FL along the Gulf Coast which reported 857 cases last week and Cameron County, Texas, also along the Gulf Coast, which reported over 15,000 cases last week. 

Hospital Capacity 

  • Texas, one of the hardest-hit states by the recent wave of COVID-19, has several counties reporting at 0 percent ICU and ventilator capacity, including Gonzalez County outside of Fort Worth and Grimes County, outside of Houston. This will likely put a greater strain on already struggling metropolitan hospitals now having to take in rural COVID-19 patients.  
  • An NPR data analysis also found that southwest Louisiana, eastern Washington state and Boise, Idaho are particularly struggling with hospital capacity.  
  • Here’s what Dr. Ashish Jha, the director of Harvard Global Health Institute, said about what to look for in terms of hospital capacity across the nation: “”It may come differently as opposed to a single massive surge that overwhelms hospitals. What we might get is just this constant flow of critically ill patients that are just barely what a hospital can manage. Once you get out of those major academic centers and start getting into community hospitals and regional hospitals, they don’t have those deep benches. They don’t have the wealth of resources that they can tap into. So I am very worried that in the days and weeks ahead, if these hospitals continue to function at or above capacity, they’re going to have a very hard time keeping going.”

Scientific Progress / Discovery 

  • Back on May 22nd, NIAD Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said it was possible that a coronavirus vaccine using classical or innovative technologies could be available by December 2020. Right now, there are more than 100 potential vaccines in clinical trials running at an unprecedented pace. 
  • But even before this vaccine emerges, Fauci and other scientists predict a different solution will come even faster: targeted antibodies that could provide an instant immunity boost against the virus. These antibodies could both prevent and treat the disease, and clinical trials could verify their efficacy within the next few months. 
  • On a less optimistic note, scientists discovered in late July that mutations in SARS-CoV-2 might allow the virus to thwart antibodies. 
  • On a testing level, scientists have now developed a spit test for COVID-19. The saliva test would be much less invasive and could be applied without the help of a healthcare professional. Initial validation experiments have shown the test to be almost equally effective to swab tests, and researchers are asking the FDA to fast track approval. 
  • You can see daily scientific updates on COVID-19 here.

News of Interest  

  • Scientific American said that superspreader events drive most of the COVID-19 spread in the United States.
  • Many Georgia county public schools reopened last week. And a photo of a crowded hallway filled with students not wearing masks went viral. Meanwhile, due to low rates of new cases, Governor Andrew Cuomo said it was safe to reopen schools in the fall. 
  • The Atlantic wrote a searing account of President Donald Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.  
  • And the next COVID-19 stimulus package is still in limbo, while the Pandemic Unemployment Insurance benefit of $600 a month ran out at the end of July.
  • Vox published an account of what it’s like to be a travel nurse in COVID-19. Read it here.

Wanting to go where you’re most needed? Search for career opportunities, set an interview, and book your next nursing assignment through our detailed online portal. Browse for travel nursing jobs here and find your ideal placement today…


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