US braces for tough COVID-19 week; deaths drop in parts of Europe

April 6, 2020

Top US health officials warned that the nation is in for a tough week ahead with more COVID-19 cases and deaths, as activity in some European countries—including some of world's main hot spots—showed more signs of slowing.

As of this morning, the US total is at 337,933 cases, including about 9,500 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins dashboard. Globally, the total passed 1,288,372 from 183 countries, including 70,356 deaths.

On CBS's Face the Nation today, Tony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said the country is struggling to get COVID-19 activity under control and warned that the next week would be bad, because the outbreak is not at its peak yet. He said he hoped to see some flattening of the curve in a week to 9 days.

At a White House briefing, President Donald Trump also warned of a tough week ahead.

So far, eight states haven't implemented stay-at-home orders: Utah, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Carolina.

Hospitalization rates are similar to what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sees at the start of an annual flu season. The percentage of deaths from pneumonia and flu is 8.2%, above the epidemic threshold of 7.2%. Pneumonia deaths have increased sharply since the end of February, as flu deaths declined last week, which could reflect COVID-19 activity.

In another CDC development, its scientists have started serology studies to gauge the number of Americans who have had COVID-19. The efforts will start with current hot spots, then expand nationally this summer, with another part geared toward examining healthcare workers infections.

CIDRAP has the update.

More COVID-19 coverage HERE.