(CNBC): Reported coronavirus-related deaths appear to be on the rise in Florida, Texas, California, Arizona and some other states that are struggling to contain rapidly expanding outbreaks, a CNBC analysis of data collected by Johns Hopkins University shows.
After peaking at an average of more than 2,000 deaths per day just three months ago, primarily driven by New York and New Jersey, fatalities in the U.S. have been slowly declining — falling to an average of less than 600 fatalities a day from June 23 through July 8. Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. have declined or remained relatively stable for weeks, even though cases have more than doubled since mid-May. But the daily death toll appears to be on the rise again in the U.S., epidemiologists say.
Covid-19 fatalities have steadily ticked up across the nation with the average number of fatalities a day rising over the last three straight days to over 600 on July 9, based on a seven-day average of daily reported deaths, driven by surges in several hot spots. Epidemiologists say it is cause for concern that deaths are beginning to accelerate again, even if it’s just a few days of data.
U.S. officials and the general public should have seen the rise in deaths coming, Larry Levitt, executive vice president for health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, told CNBC. Deaths tend to lag new cases because it can take weeks for a patient to get sick enough to be hospitalized and eventually die.
“This was predictable. We seem to have had difficulty in this country looking a few weeks in advance,” Levitt said. “But we know the pattern that as more people get infected, more people get hospitalized and ultimately more people die.”