As more states begin to slowly end their stay-at-home orders and business lockdown, some that were slow to close and early to reopen are now facing the unthinkable: Yet another lockdown caused by a sudden spike in cases of the novel coronavirus, according to The Daily Beast.
The three states that have seen a steady uptick in cases which could soon overwhelm emergency rooms are Georgia, Kentucky, and Texas.
Some counties are already having to resort to a second lockdown:
“Entire countries have already been forced to lock down a second time, like Lebanon announced it would on Wednesday, after case numbers jumped from 750 on May 5 to 870 on Tuesday. Meanwhile, more than four in five Americans have said they are concerned or afraid of a potential second wave of cases, according to a CNN-SSRS poll.”
Additionally, documents NBC News obtained show that during a May 7 meeting of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, the matter of some states seeing a dramatic increase of at least 72.4 percent in a week’s time was discussed.
The largest increases, however, were in Amarillo, Texas, and Central City, Kentucky. In the latter, cases increased by a whopping 650 percent over a week.
Even more troubling is that the increase in cases is coming among workers that have returned to their jobs and contracted COVID-19:
“Dr. Mark Escott, a regional health official, told Austin’s city council that ‘the people who are getting sick right now are generally people who are working’ and ‘that risk is going to increase the more people are working.’
The lack of testing is a large part of the problem.
While Trump has repeatedly tried to assure Americans that testing rates have increased, they haven’t kept pace with the need for comprehensive testing in the states, especially those that were first out of the gate when it came to reopening. And that could come back to haunt the administration and the states very soon.
In Georgia, the forecast for the near future is dire, according to Dr. Andreas Handel, an infectious disease epidemiologist and an associate professor at the University of Georgia’s Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics:
“If spread is increasing back to the levels at the beginning of the outbreak, in a worst-case scenario we could see around 5 million infections and 50,000 deaths in Georgia.”
The question then would be: Would Gov. Brian Kemp have the political will to reverse himself and order another lockdown, or would he risk the lives of tens of thousands of Georgians?
Only time will tell.
Featured Image Via ABC News