Oct 29, 2020 - Health

Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates

Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios
Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Many of the states where coronavirus cases have recently skyrocketed are also seeing the highest death rates in the nation, a painful reminder that wherever the virus goes, death eventually follows.

Between the lines: Deaths usually lag behind cases by a few weeks. Given America's record-high case counts, it's reasonable to expect that death rates across the country will continue to rise in tandem.

Driving the news: Multiple states — including North and South Dakota and Wisconsin — had record hospitalizations yesterday.

  • "This is no longer a slow-motion disaster," Gregory Poland, director of the vaccine research group at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel earlier this week. "This is a disaster in warp speed. And it's maddening to me as a physician because a whole lot of people have died and are dying."
  • White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx said earlier this week while visiting Montana that evidence shows cases are only going to increase in the state. "It's only going to get worse with the number of hospitalizations and the number of Montanans that die from this disease."

The bottom line: These states are leading the country at a rapid clip along a road that leads somewhere very ugly, and given the resistance to mitigation measures ranging from lockdowns to mask wearing, there's no real off ramp in sight.

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