During the first four days of July alone, a total of 14 US states have posted daily record increases in the number of individuals testing positive for Covid-19.
And in a further sign the virus is spreading, at least 18 states, including the three most highly populated – California, Texas and Florida – have posted ominous rates of infection as a percentage of diagnostic tests over the past two weeks.
The World Health Organization considers positivity rates above 5% to be concerning, and widely watched data from Johns Hopkins University shows at least 18 states with average rates over the past two weeks exceeding that level and climbing.
Eleven states averaged double-digit rates over the past seven days Arizona (26%), Florida (18%), Nevada (16%), South Carolina (15%), Alabama (15%), Texas (14.5%), Mississippi (14%), Georgia (13%), Idaho 11%), Kansas (10%) and Utah (10%). That was up from four states with double-digit rates two weeks ago.
Even in California, which led the nation with statewide workplace closures and stay-at-home orders issued on March 19, the positivity rate has crept up to an average of 7% over the past week.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly sought to minimize the jump in confirmed cases as a function of greater testing and again this week predicted that the virus would “disappear.”