Hospitals across 38 states report increase in coronavirus patients

  • The coronavirus is spreading faster than ever in the U.S., with the highest one-week average of new cases since the pandemic began.
  • Thirty-eight states are reporting increases in the number of hospitalized patients compared to two weeks ago.
  • The situation is especially dire in seven states — Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas — where many intensive care units are near or at capacity.
  • Average daily deaths have also edged back up to about 800 Americans per day, according to Johns Hopkins University. It's a level not seen in more than a month.

Staying Safe

What to do if you think you have coronavirus

Here’s what to know about the symptoms and what to do if you have them. It's important to take precautions to protect not only your health, but also that of others.

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Can you reuse a disposable mask?

Here's how to safely remove, clean, store and reuse your disposable mask.

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How to be safe when socializing

Is there a safe way to see family or friends while following social-distancing guidelines?

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How can I tell the difference between the flu and COVID-19?

Influenza and COVID-19 have such similar symptoms, you may need to get tested to know what's making you miserable.

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How long does COVID-19 last?

It depends. Most coronavirus patients have mild to moderate illness and recover quickly.

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Am I immune to the coronavirus if I’ve already had it?

You have some immunity, but how much and for how long are big unanswered questions.

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Is it safe to vote in-person?

We asked medical experts to weigh in on the health risks involved and share some tips on what we can do to make voting in person safer.

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Can plastic face shields protect you from the coronavirus?

Plastic face shields are most frequently worn by nurses or doctors who are very close to patients who may be exposed to droplets that contain the coronavirus.

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What's the risk of getting coronavirus outside vs. inside?

The virus does spread more easily indoors, but you should still follow social distancing guidelines to protect yourself outside.

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Is it safe to go to the gym?

Whether or not it is safe to return to the gym has become a puzzling question for people as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise in many states.

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Public health glossary

What's the difference between quarantine and isolation? Here's a guide to the public health terms used in the coronavirus coverage.

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WHO's FAQ guide

See the World Health Organization's FAQ guide to get informed about the coronavirus.

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COVID population immunity may not last: study

A new study suggests that the antibodies a person develops for protection after a coronavirus infection may not last long - raising the prospect that a population's collective immunity to the disease would only be fleeting. Scientists at Imperial College London tracked antibody levels in the British population following the first wave of coronavirus infections, in March and April - and discovered they declined rapidly over the summer. Graham Cooke is a professor of infectious diseases at Imperial: "“So the main change we saw between these three rounds of the survey was that the proportion of people testing positive (for antibodies) fell from 6% in the end of June and July through to August, where it was 4.8% and then 4.4% in September. So although those changes sound quite small, because of the numbers of people involved we can be pretty confident this is a real change. But overall, it doesn't change the fact that actually 90%-plus of the general population is still susceptible to infection." The news comes as much of the world is experiencing a second wave of infections forcing local lockdowns and restrictions, and the northern hemisphere readies for winter. The colder weather means more people will be socializing and congregating indoors - where the risk of infection grows. The study has not yet been peer reviewed. Natural immunity to the novel coronavirus is a complex and murky area, as well. But researchers do say the experience of other coronaviruses also suggests that immunity might not be enduring. Those whose infection was confirmed with a gold standard PCR test had a less pronounced decline in antibodies, compared to people who had been asymptomatic and unaware of their original infection. There was no change in the levels of antibodies seen in healthcare workers - which could be due to repeated exposure to the virus. Similar findings have been discovered in Germany - which showed the vast majority of people did not have antibodies - even in coronavirus hotspots - and that antibodies might fade in those who do.
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