Only Missouri and Vermont recorde a more than 10% improvement in the average number of reported cases over the past week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Meanwhile, cases in Connecticut and Florida increased by 50% or more and those in 27 other states rose between 10% and 50%.
Those states are Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
New cases remained steady in the remaining states.
“This really is a harrowing time, and people have to be careful,” epidemiologist Dr. Abdul El-Sayed told CNN on Saturday.
‘This surge has the potential to be way worse’
Ten states on Friday reported their highest one-day case counts: Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming, according to Johns Hopkins.
As infections have risen, so, too, have hospitalizations from the virus. New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said hospitalizations in her state have increased 101% this month.
More hospitalizations will likely be followed by a rise in daily coronavirus deaths, says Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health.
“When we saw this kind of transmission earlier in the pandemic, in March and April, the virus hadn’t seeded everywhere … This surge has the potential to be way worse than it was than either the spring or the summer,” El-Sayed, Detroit’s former health director, said.
State leaders push new restrictions
Experts say Americans can help get the virus under control by heeding guidelines touted by officials for months: avoiding crowded settings, keeping a distance, keeping small gatherings outdoors, and wearing a mask.
“This is a good moment for people to stop and ask themselves, ‘What can I do to try to be sure that we limit the further infections that otherwise seem to be looming in front of us as cold weather is kicking in and people are indoors, and those curves are going upward, in the wrong direction?'” Collins said Friday.
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts announced changes to the state’s health measures, including requiring hospitals to reserve at least 10% of staffed general and ICU beds for Covid-19 patients.
CNN’s Christina Maxouris, Jason Hanna, Dave Alsup, Chuck Johnston, Andrea Diaz, Nakia McNabb, Samira Said, Nadia Kounang, Andy Rose and Shelby Lin Erdman contributed to this report.