Coronavirus in the US: Latest COVID-19 news and case counts

Last updated April 15 at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Since the novel coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2 was first detected in the U.S. on Jan. 20, it has spread to nearly 609,685 people in the country.

Of the reported cases in the U.S., at least 26,059 people have died as a result of the virus, with 10,842 of those deaths reported in New York, 2,805 in New Jersey, 1,768 in Michigan, 1,013 in Louisiana, 869 in Illinois and 790 related deaths reported in California. Worldwide, nearly 2 million cases have been reported and 128,011 related deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins virus dashboard. 

[Live Science is tracking case counts and relevant news from each U.S. state. Click on your state in the list below.]

—New York may have reached its peak in COVID-19 cases and possibly related deaths, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday night (April 13) during a press briefing: "I believe the worst is over if we continue to be smart ... I believe we can start on the path to normalcy, The New York Times reported. After setting records for single-day coronavirus-related deaths, the state was starting to show a decline in new cases and new related deaths. 

—In addition, the number of newly hospitalized COVID-19 patients in New York may be leveling off; the number had been growing by about 20% per day, but between Wednesday and Thursday (April 9), it grew by just 1%, The New York Times reported. 

—Governors of seven states — Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island — have formed a coalition to put together a plan for safely reopening the region, including the economies and schools, the Times reported.

—Infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said on April 10 that in about a week an antibody test would become available to show who has already been infected with the novel coronavirus, The  New York Times reported.

Just five governors have held out on issuing state-wide stay-at-home orders for all residents, according to The New York Times, despite calls to do so. These states include: Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. Three other states — Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming — have partial orders, with some counties and cities issuing their own stay-at-home orders.

Coronavirus memo

Two memorandums sent to President Donald Trump and the National Security Council by trade advisor Peter Navarro lay out alarming forecasts for how hard the spreading coronavirus could hit Americans, according to news sites that obtained the memos. In a memo dated Jan. 29 that was sent to the National Security Council, Navarro writes: "The lack of immune protection or an existing cure or vaccine would leave Americans defenseless in the case of a full-blown coronavirus outbreak on U.S. soil. ... This lack of protection elevates the risk of the coronavirus evolving into a full-blown pandemic, imperiling the lives of millions of Americans," The New York Times reported. In one of the worst-case scenarios that Navarro described, more than half a million Americans could die from the disease, the Times reported.

The other memo, dated Feb. 23 and addressed to President Trump, is also attributed to Navarro. In the memo, according to Axios and the Times, Navarro indicates the need for resources from Congress.

"This is NOT a time for penny-pinching or horse trading on the Hill," Navarro wrote, as reported by Axios. The memo also warned that an “increasing probability of a full-blown COVID-19 pandemic that could infect as many as 100 million Americans, with a loss of life of as many as 1.2 million souls."

At the time of both memos, the president was downplaying the severity of the not-yet-pandemic situation. In a tweet dated to Feb. 24, Trump wrote: "The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA," Axios reported.

US deaths from coronavirus

At least 26,059 Americans have died to date from the novel coronavirus. A model that infectious disease experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, were using to forecast the total number of deaths from COVID-19 has been revised with better data. At the end of March, a COVID-1 model by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington and other models had forecast that even with stay-at-home and other social-distancing measures, 200,000 individuals in the U.S. could ultimately die from this virus.

Updates to one of those models have yielded lower numbers. As of April 7, the IHME model predicts 60,415 people in the United States will have died as a result of COVID-19. The daily death toll from the virus is forecast to peak on April 12 with 2,212 related deaths on that day, according to the IHME model. April 12 saw 1,528 virus-related deaths, according to Worldometers.

USNS ComfortImage 1 of 3

The USNS Comfort hospital ship enters New York Harbor toward its destination at a pier in Manhattan. (Image credit: Diana Whitcroft for Live Science)Image 2 of 3

The USNS Comfort hospital ship enters New York Harbor toward its destination at a pier in Manhattan. (Image credit: Diana Whitcroft for Live Science)Image 3 of 3

The USNS Comfort hospital ship enters New York Harbor toward its destination at a pier in Manhattan. (Image credit: Diana Whitcroft for Live Science)

The hospital ship USNS Comfort entered New York Harbor on March 30; it passed the Statue of Liberty on its way to a Manhattan Cruise Terminal pier. The ship, which will be used to treat non-COVID-19 patients, is equipped with 12 operating rooms, with "hospital beds, a medical laboratory, a pharmacy, an optometry lab, digital radiology, a CAT scan, two oxygen-producing plants and a helicopter deck," the U.S. Department of Defense reported. A 1,200-strong medical staff from the U.S. Navy will operate the hospital.

Hospitals across the U.S. are desperate for medical supplies, including personal protection equipment (PPE), such as proper face masks, and ventilators, according to several news reports. In a recent Tweet, an internal medicine resident in New York City, said: "I feel I must tweet because the press does not reflect our reality. The deluge is here. Our ICU is completely full with intubated COVID patients. We are rapidly moving to expand capacity. We are nearly out of PPE. I anticipate we will begin rationing today." 

However, on Thursday (April 2), just 20 patients were onboard because of the harsh criteria for who could and could not be treated there. That should change with updated guidelines: "screening for care on the USNS Comfort will be modified and will now occur pier-side in an effort to reduce the backlog at some of the nearby New York hospitals. The screening effort for the USNS Comfort will no longer require a negative test, but each patient will still be screened by temperature and a short questionnaire," the U.S. Department of Defense said in a statement.

US coronavirus hotspots

Cases of this virus are ramping up rapidly in a few U.S. cities, which could become the next epicenters of the virus in the U.S. if the trajectory doesn’t change, according to multiple news reports. Axios reported that cases are rising in Boston, Detroit, New Orleans and Philadelphia.  

“It’s important for people to know that everyone’s curve is going to look different. New York is going to look different from Boise, Idaho, Jackson, Mississippi, or New Orleans,” Dr. Jerome Adams, the U.S. Surgeon General, told CBS This Morning on Friday (March 27). Adams added that New York cases could start to decrease next week. 

“But we also see hotspots like Detroit, like Chicago, like New Orleans that will have a worse week next week than this week,” Adams added.

On Tuesday (April 7), New Orleans had more than 4,900 COVID-19 cases, of the state's total of 16,284, according to the state health department. As of April 7, Wayne County where Detroit is located had confirmed more than 9,000 COVID-19 cases, nearly half of Michigan's total, 18,970, according to the state health department. And Philly has logged 4,012 cases to date, out of Pennsylvania’s nearly 14,559 cases, the state department is reporting.

Coronavirus rescue plan

President Donald Trump signed into law a $2 trillion rescue bill on Friday (March 27) in the Oval Office, after the House of Representatives passed it through a voice vote the same day; the U.S. Senate had passed the bill unanimously on Wednesday (March 25), The New York Times reported. There was concern that a representative in the House would demand a so-called "roll call" or recorded vote, in which each member's vote gets recorded through an electronic voting machine. But that takes time, and it means enough representatives voting yes must be present for the vote to pass.

Related: How to get the $1,200 coronavirus stimulus check

Instead, the representatives used a "voice vote," in which the "presiding officer" states the question and those in favor say "Yea" and those against, "Nay." The presiding officer then announces the result according to their judgment, and the names of the representatives are not recorded. 

Here's what the bill looks like, according to a breakdown of the bill by About $532 billion would go to "big business, local government loans and financial assistance," including $61 billion that would go directly to airlines. About $377 billion would go to small business loans and grants. About $290 billion would provide direct payments to families in certain tax brackets; $260 billion in unemployment insurance; $290 billion in tax cuts; and $150 billion for state and local stimulus finds. The following "miscellaneous" funds are also part of the rescue bill: $126 billion to hospitals and other health care facilities; $45 billion for FEMA; $31 billion for education stabilization; $27 billion for vaccines and stockpiles; $25 billion for infrastructure; and $131 billion for "other."

The direct payments to families would go to low- and middle-income families/individuals and would include: $1,200 for each adult and $500 for each child in those households, reported.

Coronavirus reshaping American life

At least 42 U.S. states, several counties, nine cities, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico have now ordered residents to shelter in place, affecting at least 316 million people, according to The New York Times. For weeks, the Texas governor left stay-at-home decisions to local governments, but as of April 2, the entire state is ordered to stay at home except for essential activities, the Times reported. 

Every U.S. state has implemented some type of school closures, whether across the entire state or varying by school district, some for weeks and some not opening this academic year; the closures have impacted 124,000 public and private schools and at least 55.1 million students. according to Education Week. On Friday (March 13), the CDC issued new guidance on school closure; schools may need to be closed for 8 to 20 weeks to have any impact on the course of the disease. Shorter closures may have no impact, the CDC said, and locales that have closed schools, such as Hong Kong, have not had better containment success than places that have kept them open, such as Singapore. 

Though on Sunday (March 29), President Trump extended the stay-at-home recommendation through April 30, the surgeon general Jerome Adams said on April 1 that the federal guidance on social distancing will likely go beyond that date, according to Politico. 

Related: Coronavirus resources: US state and local health departments

Late Friday (March 13), Congress passed a bill meant to help those who have been affected by coronavirus. The bill expands access to free testing, expands sick leave for those who are most vulnerable, and provides food aid. President Donald Trump also declared a national emergency. On Wednesday (March 25), the Trump administration and U.S. senators passed an historic $2 trillion rescue plan to help boost the faltering economy and help hard-hit Americans and industries, NPR reported. 

More coronavirus news on Live ScienceUS coronavirus cases

(Click state name for more info)
Alabama: 3,876 (110 deaths)
Alaska: 285 (9 deaths)
Arizona: 3,806 (131 deaths)
Arkansas: 1,498 (32 deaths)
California: 25,145 (767 deaths)
Colorado: 7,941 (329 deaths)
Connecticut: 13,989 (671 deaths)
Delaware: 1,926 (43 deaths)
District of Columbia: 2,058 (67 deaths)
Florida: 21,628 (571 deaths)
Georgia: 14,223 (501 deaths)
Hawaii: 517 (9 deaths)
Idaho: 1,453 (33 deaths)
Illinois: 23,247 (868 deaths)
Indiana: 8,527 (387 deaths)
Iowa: 1,899 (49 deaths)
Kansas: 1,426 (69 deaths)
Kentucky: 2,210 (115 deaths)
Louisiana: 21,518 (1,013 deaths)
Maine: 734 (20 deaths)
Maryland: 9,472 (302 deaths)
Massachusetts: 28,163 (957 deaths)
Michigan: 27,001 (1,768 deaths)
Minnesota: 1,695 (79 deaths)
Mississippi: 3,087 (111 deaths)
Missouri: 4,714 (142 deaths)
Montana: 399 (7 deaths)
Nebraska: 871 (18 deaths)
Nevada: 3,088 (120 deaths)
New Hampshire: 1,091 (27 deaths)
New Jersey: 68,824 (2,805 deaths)
New Mexico: 1,345 (31 deaths)
New York: 202,208 (10,834 deaths)
North Carolina: 5,024 (108 deaths)
North Dakota: 341 (9 deaths)
Ohio: 7,280 (324 deaths)
Oklahoma: 2,184 (108 deaths)
Oregon: 1,633 (55 deaths)
Pennsylvania: 25,465 (696 deaths)
Rhode Island: 3,251 (80 deaths)
South Carolina: 3,553 (97 deaths)
South Dakota: 988 (6 deaths)
Tennessee: 5,823 (124 deaths)
Texas: 14,624 (318 deaths)
Utah: 2,412 (19 deaths)
Vermont: 752 (29 deaths)
Virginia: 6,171 (154 deaths)
Washington: 10,703 (523 deaths)
West Virginia: 640 (9 deaths)
Wisconsin: 3,555 (170 deaths)
Wyoming: 282 (1 death)
Guam: 133 (5 deaths)
Northern Mariana Islands: 11 (2 deaths)
Puerto Rico: 923 (45 deaths)
U.S. Virgin Islands: 51 (1 death)
Navajo Nation: 813 (28 deaths)
Diamond Princess: 46
Grand Princess: 103 (3 deaths)
Sources: Worldometers,  Johns Hopkins dashboard, state health departments.

Limited testing

As of April 2, 95 state and local public health laboratories in 50 states and the District of Columbia have working COVID-19 diagnostic tests, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced. As of April 2, the CDC and public labs in the U.S. had tested more than 181,542 specimens; that doesn't equate to that many individuals tested, as labs may run two tests per person to confirm an infection. When commercial labs are added in, a total of nearly 1.3 million COVID-19 tests have been run in the U.S. as of Friday (April 3), according to the COVID Tracking Project.

States differ in their rates of testing, with California completing 33,000 tests with another 59,500 pending results, and New York running 238,965; that's compared with about 5,576 tests in Montana and 2,144 in Oklahoma as of April 2. 

To date, the FDA has granted 25 "emergency use authorizations" for COVID diagnostic tests, the FDA reported. Most notably is an EUA for a new serological test, which looks for antibodies in a person's blood that are specific to the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2; such tests will help to identify who has been infected already by the virus and is potentially immune. On April 1, the FDA issued that EUA to Cellex Inc.'s qSARS-CoV-2 IgG/IgM Rapid Test, the FDA reported.

Other tests that received EUA’s include: the San Diego-based Mesa Biotech’s rapid diagnostic test for COVID-19 (called Accula SARS-CoV-2 Test), which delivers results in 30 minutes, Forbes reported. The firm's CEO said the device fits in the palm of your hand and can easily be sent out to point-of-care locations for testing.

Another EUA was granted to California-based company Cepheid for a rapid COVID-19 test whose results take 45 minutes, Live Science reported. There are 5,000 systems in the U.S. capable of running this rapid test, which Cepheid said it would start shipping out March 30. 

LabCorp, which processes samples collected by state health departments and hospitals, said in an April 2 statement that the lab “has performed approximately 350,000 tests since first making our COVID-19 test available on March 5th. That number is increasing rapidly now that our lab capacity has reached more than 30,000 tests per day, with even more capacity expected over the coming weeks assuming adequate supplies.”

In addition, Deborah Birx, a member of the president's coronavirus task force, said that the U.S. had granted emergency authorization for Roche holdings to release its automated test, which should rapidly scale up the ability to conduct testing. In a March 30 statement from Roche, the company said it began shipping the tests, called the cobas® SARS-CoV-2 Test, to U.S. labs on March 13 and expects to be able to ship about 400,000 tests per week.

Meanwhile, other headwinds face efforts to scale up testing. Lab directors are worried that they may run out of swabs, reagents and RNA extraction kits needed for mass testing, The New York Times reported. Because many countries are fighting cases in their country, competition for those supplies has increased.

[Read more about coronavirus testing in the U.S.]

Originally published on Live Science. 

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