Oct. 3 (UPI) — The former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the United States needs a more comprehensive approach to containing the novel coronavirus as case loads rose in at least two dozen states and Puerto Rico.
“Testing does not replace safety measures including consistent mask use, physical distancing, and hand washing,” former CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said in a Friday statement shortly after it was revealed that President Donald Trump has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, 24 states saw their number of new cases rise at least 10% this week, and an analysis published by The Washington Post Saturday said COVID-19 cases have risen in 33 states and Puerto Rico since late August.
At least 12 states have also reported rising hospitalizations this week, with upticks in new cases throughout the country, with the state of New York reporting its highest one-day case count since May 28.
The United States reported about 55,000 new cases and 915 deaths Friday, according to Johns Hopkins.
The country’s seven-day average of new cases this week was 42,400 — about 20% higher than mid-September, when it was at a two-month low of 34,300.
The new case count is still below the mid-summer peak of 67,000 in July, but health officials warn the climbing numbers could lead toward a surge as weather grows colder and more people spend time indoors in enclosed spaces.
Also Friday, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer violated her constitutional authority by continuing to issue orders to combat COVID-19 without the approval of legislators.
The ruling was requested by a federal judge earlier this year.
It effectively prohibits Whitmer from invoking emergency powers, which she has used to close businesses and require residents to wear masks — and serves as advice to the federal court, indicating how a federal court could rule in a lawsuit challenging Whitmer’s use of emergency powers.