Infectious Disease Expert, Dr. Michael Osterholm, University of Minnesota, on Rising Infections in America – the u.s. Passed 8m Cases This Week According to New York Times.

October 15, 2020
Featured article image

Pandemic fatigue has clearly set in for large segments of the population. This is not even an uptick, this is a major surge of cases that is happening.

  • Cases are rising in the Midwest & Mountain West regions. Important Context: As The New York Times notes – these areas had “relatively few cases until recently.”
  • An example of an area that had relatively few cases but is now experiencing notable rise in infections is Wyoming: “I think honestly (a factor) is the fatigue of the COVID-19 pandemic and measures, in general…I totally understand, and I have the same feeling that we’re all sort of ready for this to be over and to be able to get back to normal life. Unfortunately, we’re just not there.” Wyoming State Public Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist
  • Officials are concerned that rising infections in the Midwest/Mountain West signal more infections to come nationally.
  • Health experts are not only concerned about rising COVID-19 test results but also a rise in hospitalizations.
  • Wisconsin opened a field hospital to handle the overflow of COVID-19 cases: “We hoped this day wouldn’t come, but unfortunately, Wisconsin is in a much different, more dire place today and our healthcare systems are beginning to become overwhelmed by the surge of COVID-19 cases,” Wisconsin’s Gov. Tony Evers.
  • Perhaps more important than the rise in cases is the lack of any serious declines regionally.
  • Why This Matters: Health officials wanted to begin the anticipated flu season with lower baseline numbers to ensure proper resources. No region has been spared from a COVID-spike, as the virus has spread in America from the Northeast and far West, to the Sunbelt, and now in the Midwest/Mountain West.

by Jenna Lee,