PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — At least nine states have reported record increases in coronavirus cases over the past three days. Hospitalizations hit new highs in Texas for the third day in a row. Could a resurgence be headed our way?
Risky behavior during a pandemic has consequences. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia say they’re seeing clear patterns with the spread of COVID-19.
People were spotted out in Texas without masks. Hospitalizations in the state have climbed more than 50% since Memorial Day.
Hospital cases have spiked in at least 14 states. And at least 19 states have seen increases in their average of new COVID-19 cases compared to about two weeks ago. That includes Florida, where new infections reached more than 2,000 on Saturday and Sunday.
“People don’t seem to be following the basic guidelines that were suggested when reopening, including mask-wearing, avoiding big crowds indoors and things like that,” said Dr. Jeffrey Morris, director of biostatistics at Penn.
Morris is involved with several COVID-19 research projects. He says the Northeast, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, has done a good job containing the spread of the virus.
“I know when I’m out and about I see people wearing masks,” Morris said.
A gradual lifting of restrictions is also credited with better containment.
“From what we’ve learned of the virus, it’s possible to go out and engage in society safely if we take the precautions,” Morris said.
His research shows there will probably be a second wave in the Philadelphia area but not as bad as other parts of the country if people continue to follow health recommendations.
“What makes this virus especially tricky compared to other respiratory viruses is that it seems to spread a great deal from people who are asymptomatic,” Morris said.
Whether carriers have symptoms or not, the virus appears to spread more easily inside.
Penn researchers also say COVID-19 will be around for a while and we should learn how to live with it safely. The biggest danger is for the elderly, especially those who live in long-term care facilities.