Supersreaders Spur Record New U.S. COVID Cases

Oct. 30, 2020 — The big coronavirus numbers keep piling up — and so do the superspreader events.

The Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center reported that 88,521 new coronavirus cases were recorded Thursday in the United States — the most in a single day since the start of the pandemic. Less than a week ago, a daily record was set with 83,000 new cases.

Meanwhile, the United States passed the 9 million mark in total cases Friday afternoon and the 229,000 mark in total deaths, the most in the world.

These grim numbers hit as more superspreader events are reported, driven by political rallies and social occasions like weddings.

CNN tracked the coronavirus rates in 17 counties where President Donald Trump held rallies between Aug. 17 and Sept. 26, and it found 14 counties had increased infection rates a month after the rallies.

CNN said it evaluated the rate of new daily cases per 100,000 residents 4 weeks before the rally, on the rally date, and 4 weeks after the rally. Of the 14 counties, eight had decreasing rates a month before the rally and six had increasing rates.

For example, Trump held a rally Sept. 12 in Minden, NV. CNN said case counts were falling before the rally. Four weeks after the rally, the rate of new cases had risen 225%, CNN said.

Photos and videos at the president’s rallies often show crowds of supporters largely without masks, a trend that runs contrary to national attitudes, a recent survey found. The CDC said this week that 89% of U.S. adults in June said they were dutifully wearing masks, compared to 78% in April. Young adults were least likely to regularly wear masks.

The survey also found that, like some of those at the rallies, many still refuse to avoid public places and crowds, two key ways the virus has spread.

“These findings underscore the need to prioritize clear, targeted messaging and behavior modification interventions, especially for younger adults, to encourage uptake and support maintenance of recommended mitigation behaviors proven to slow the spread of COVID-19,” CDC researchers wrote.

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