CDC: COVID Cases Rising, But Deaths Still Dropping

Susan Jones | October 14, 2020 | 7:58am EDT
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 Cars line up at a Covid-19 testing center at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California on October 8, 2020. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
Cars line up at a Covid-19 testing center at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California on October 8, 2020. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

( - The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention counts 46,614 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, for a total of 7,787,548 cases in this country since February.

A map posted on CDC's website shows new cases in all 50 states and the District of Columbia over the last seven days, with the highest per-capita increases in the upper Midwest/West.

But at the same time, data based on death certificates submitted to CDC show deaths have been dropping since the week ending August 1.

CDC's National Center for Health Statistics produces the official COVID death count, based on death certificates, which roll in to NCHS on a lagging basis. That means death counts for recent weeks tend to increase much more significantly than deaths counts going back six to eight weeks.

The chart below shows that COVID deaths reached an all-time high of 17,072 in the week ending April 18, then declined for ten weeks, dropping 77.84 percent to 3,783 for the week ending June 27.

After that, the death count increased for five weeks, to a second peak of 8,110 for the week ending August 1, but that was still 52.49 percent below the mid-April peak.

In the ten weeks since August 1, NCHS shows the death toll has declined, but as noted above, that could change when more death certificates are submitted and recorded in the days ahead.

As of October 13, CDC says a total of 201,736 people have died of COVID in this country.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN on Tuesday, "When you look at what's going on in the United States, it's really very troublesome. A number of states right now are having increases in test positivity, states above the Sunbelt, states in the Sunbelt."

If you look at the map with the color coding of cases and states that are going up, you see states in the Northwest and the Midwest, it's going in the wrong direction right now.

So, if there's anything we should be doing, we should be doubling down in implementing the public health measures that we have been talking about for so long, which are keeping a distance, no crowds, wearing masks, washing hands, doing things outside as opposed to inside, in order to get those numbers down.

We're entering into the cool months of the fall, and ultimately the cold months of the winter. And that's just a recipe of a real problem, if we don't get things under control before we get into that seasonal challenge.

CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield reportedly told the nation's governors on Tuesday that "small household gatherings" are an "increasing threat right now" for the spreading of the virus.

"Particularly with Thanksgiving coming up, we think it's really important to stress the vigilance of these continued mitigation steps in the household setting," CNN quoted him as saying after obtaining audio of Redfield's call.

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