There are worrisome COVID-19 trends in some parts of the country, both for rates of infection — that’s cases of people testing positive for having the virus — and for the number of people hospitalized from the disease.
There have recently been COVID-19 spikes in Arizona, Florida, Texas, California, North and South Carolina, Nevada, Oregon — all of which have just reported record-high weekly case numbers.
Many of the states that are seeing COVID-19 spikes, reopened their economies early. At the same time, more residents are being tested for COVID-19.
So, are case numbers rising because more infections are being detected, or because there’s more person-to-person contact to spread the virus?
Epidemiologist Kumi Smith at the University of Minnesota said it’s some of both. But, bottom line: More people are getting sick.
“What is undeniable is that hospitalization rates are increasing — notably in these sort of Sunbelt regions,” Smith said.
And consumers are taking note, said John Leer at polling firm Morning Consult.
“So in the country as a whole, consumer confidence continues to increase,” he said. “But we’re seeing a flattening in those regions, in the South and in the West, that have been most affected by the recent surge in cases.”
Leer said where consumer confidence is stagnating, people will be less likely to go out and spend.
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