New York City, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., just reported that there were no deaths related to the virus for the first time since March 11. The daily death toll reached a high of 590 on April 7, according to data from the New York City Department of Health.
Social distancing measures and shelter-in-place measures have been in effect citywide since March 20. However, as parts of the country reopen, Johns Hopkins data suggest that some areas are experiencing a surge of new cases. Among the largest spikes are those in Arizona and Arkansas, which respectively reported 919 and 327 confirmed new cases on June 3.
Separately, a report in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel showed that on the same day, Palm Beach County logged 258 new cases. That’s the sharpest increase of confirmed cases in the three weeks since the county reopened. This spike was potentially due to a private testing company reporting results of two days of tests in a single day, according to two county commissioners.
Amid concerns that the virus would surge as crowds gathered over the last few days to protest racial injustice and police brutality, more than 1,200 health officials signed a letter offering guidance:
“As public health advocates, we do not condemn these gatherings as risky for COVID-19 transmission. We support them as vital to the national public health and to the threatened health specifically of Black people in the United States. We can show that support by facilitating safest protesting practices without detracting from demonstrators’ ability to gather and demand change. This should not be confused with a permissive stance on all gatherings, particularly protests against stay-home orders.”