By: Crystal Earl and Alina Issakhanian
Currently, according to Johns Hopkins University, there are over 6 million confirmed cases of Coronavirus worldwide; this does not include those who are infected but have yet to be tested.
The U.S. is the leading nation in the amount of confirmed cases and deaths with over 1.8 million cases and over 100 thousand deaths. The number of cases and deaths in the U.S. is about one-third of that of the entire world.
However, the number is likely much higher. This is because to be a confirmed case, a COVID-19 test needs to be conducted. There have been cases of testing locations closing either because the locations were temporary, the demand for testing has dropped as the number of new cases has fallen, or the locations were closed due to safety concerns amidst Black Lives Matter protests. Recently, Los Angeles (LA) Mayor Eric Garcetti called for all COVID-19 testing centers in the city of LA be closed on Saturday because of “safety concerns.”
“We need to make sure, especially in communities that have less power, that we are able to make sure people don’t disproportionately die because of the color of their skin…We can’t do that when the city breaks down,” Garcetti said in a press release.
According to KTLA, all testing sites closed as of 3:00 p.m. on Saturday “because of the safety worries across the city,” Garcetti said.
Californians began staying home in order to prevent the spread of disease on March 19. Now, as Governor Gavin Newsom pushes forward with reopening plans, many are afraid that coronavirus cases will spike. On May 8, California moved into Stage 2 of modifying the state’s Stay-at-Home order, which called for the gradual reopening of lower-risk workplaces including retail, related logistics and manufacturing, office workplaces, limited personal services, outdoor museums, child care, and essential businesses. However, as some counties have moved into Stage 3, which allows travel for permissible activities and calls for the reopening of higher-risk workplaces, many counties still remain at Stage 2. As of now, people are unaware of when California will enter Stage 4 and fully reopen.
According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease Director, as long as states reopen “correctly,” the U.S. can prevent another wave of COVID-19.
“Don’t start leapfrogging over the recommendations of some of the guidelines because that’s really tempting fate and asking for trouble,” Fauci said in an interview on CNN.
This news comes after he first warned Americans that a second wave of the coronavirus in the fall was a possibility. He mentioned that the U.S. had to take severe measures because of how quickly coronavirus cases were rising.
“But now, is the time, depending upon where you are and what your situation is, to begin to seriously look at reopening the economy, reopening the country to try to get to some degree of normal,” Fauci said.
However, experts say that the U.S. will first need an effective drug treatment or vaccine before getting back to a “normal” state. Fortunately, a vaccine is on the way and some believe that we will find it before the end of 2020, but because of underlying terms like time for manufacturing and distribution of the vaccine, it could be awhile before it reaches everyone.