The United States marked another grim milestone Tuesday as it posted a record 47,000 new COVID-19 cases, the biggest one day increase in new infections since the start of the pandemic.
The bulk of the new infections stretches from the southwestern states of Arizona and Texas over into the western state of California, with high numbers of infections also reported in the southeastern states of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
The rising number of COVID-19 infections across the United States prompted Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to tell a U.S. Senate committee Tuesday that the current rate of new infections could more than double to 100,000 a day if the current surge is not contained.
“Clearly we are not in total control right now,” Dr. Fauci testified. He warned the committee that just focusing on the states undergoing the biggest surges of new infections “puts the entire country at risk.”
As Dr. Fauci was testifying on Capitol Hill, the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, the three northeastern states that bore the initial brunt of the pandemic, added eight new states — California, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada and Tennessee — to a previous list of visitors who must enter into quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
The eight new states join Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Utah on the tri-state quarantine mandate.
The new surge of COVID-19 infections have prompted governors in Florida, Texas and California to slow down plans to reopen their economies, ordering bars and restaurants to close and mandating that all its citizens wear masks.
With the United States leading the world in total number of coronavirus cases with well over 2.6 million, including over 127,000 deaths, American travelers have been excluded from a list of nations whose citizens are once again allowed to enter the European Union.
EU lifts travel restrictions
The EU lifted travel restrictions Tuesday for people from Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.
But travelers from nations where COVID-19 cases have been surging, including the United States, Brazil and India, may not enter at this time.
Chinese citizens will be able to enter the bloc, as long as China removes restrictions on European citizens traveling there. Other countries on the list are expected to end any of their own travel bans on Europeans.
Countries will be added or dropped from the list every two weeks, according to their respective COVID-19 outbreaks, but it’s unlikely the United States will land a spot for a while.
The EU’s criteria stipulate that countries’ new case numbers in the last 14 days be close to or under its own average and that case numbers as a whole be stabilizing or dropping.
Nearly 10.5 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 since the virus was first detected in China late last year and began spreading across the globe, with over 500,000 deaths.