U.S. coronavirus deaths top 1,000 for four straight days

Medical personnel move a deceased patient to a refrigerated truck serving as make shift morgues at Brooklyn Hospital Center on April 09, 2020 in New York City.

Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images

The U.S. reported more than 1,100 coronavirus deaths on Friday, marking the first time since May the morbid daily death toll rose above 1,000 for four consecutive days, according to Johns Hopkins University data. 

There were 10 states across the U.S. that reported record daily coronavirus deaths based on a seven-day moving average, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins. CNBC uses a seven-day trailing average to smooth out spikes in data reporting to identify where cases and deaths are rising and falling. 

Covid-19 cases across the country remained steady, however, with the nation’s seven-day average growing by less than 1% compared with a week ago, according to Hopkins data. Deaths and hospitalizations typically lag behind an increase in cases because it can take a while after someone is diagnosed to become seriously ill and potentially die, epidemiologists say. 

Some states that have reported climbing cases for weeks, including California, Texas and Florida, are now seeing record daily coronavirus deaths based on a seven-day moving average. 

Texas had an average of 138 new deaths on Friday, which is more than 29% higher compared with a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins data. California had an average of 104 new deaths, which is more than 13% higher compared with a week ago. Florida reported an average of 121 daily deaths, a near 21% increase compared with a week ago. 

On Thursday, Adm. Brett Giroir, an assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said that the rate of deaths from the coronavirus in the United States should begin to fall in the “next couple of weeks.” 

The seven-day rolling average of coronavirus infections is beginning to drop, and U.S. health officials predict hospitalizations will go down next week and mortality rates will follow in about two weeks, he said during a press briefing with reporters.

Giroir’s prediction differs from forecasts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National and state-level forecasts suggest that the number of new deaths in the U.S. over the next four weeks will likely exceed the number reported over the previous four weeks, according to the CDC. 

“Nobody’s letting up their foot from the gas,” he added. “If we throw caution to the wind, go back to the bars, this will all go into reverse.” 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told CNBC Friday that the state has not yet “conquered” the coronavirus and it’s “going to take a little while” to eliminate, although the state has made some strides. State officials and funeral home directors are ordering extra body bags and refrigerated trucks as they prepare for an increase in deaths from Covid-19, which has already killed at least 4,717 people in the state.

“I feel like we have reached a plateau where we’ve contained the exponential growth of Covid at this particular time, but we have a lot more work to do in the coming weeks,” Abbott said. “We don’t have Covid conquered right now.” 

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