New coronavirus cases in the U.S. rose to more than 52,000, the highest daily total in more than a month, as wildfires in some Western states and a hurricane that made landfall in the Southeast opened potential pathways for the virus to spread further.
The wildfires in California, Oregon and Washington state have killed at least 34 people and are part of a wider outbreak that has scorched more than 4.7 million acres, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. Health experts say the wildfires make it harder for people to keep their distance and slow the spread of the virus if they are forced to leave their homes and seek shelter.
Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary of the California Health and Human Services, said his agency had taken steps to ensure that individuals displaced by the historic and deadly fires across the state would also be protected from the threat of infection from Covid-19. He said that nearly 90% of people in shelters were in hotel rooms either by themselves or with family members, rather than the “old norm of a congregate shelter where hundreds of people might come together to spend a few nights in a gymnasium eating buffet-style food.”
Hurricane Sally: The storm hit the Alabama coast as a Category 2 hurricane early Wednesday with maximum sustained winds of 105 miles an hour. Forecasters warned of life-threatening flooding along parts of the Gulf Coast. As the storm’s trajectory shifted away from Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards said the state would pivot to focus on helping neighboring states, the continuing recovery from last month’s Hurricane Laura and coronavirus-mitigation efforts. Mr. Edwards said most of the more than 12,000 Louisianans displaced by Laura are in noncongregate sheltering facilities across the state. More than 5,300 people are still sheltering in Texas.
Real Life. Real News. Real Voices
Help us tell more of the stories that matterBecome a founding member
Cases and deaths: The U.S. reported 52,081 new cases for Tuesday, up from about 34,000 a day earlier. The latest figure is the highest daily tally since Aug. 14, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The nation’s death toll approached 196,000.
Subscribe to the newsletter news
We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe