Thousands of new coronavirus cases are being identified across the United States each day, including in large clusters in the New York City area, along the Gulf Coast, and in the Pacific Northwest. As of Thursday morning, at least 68,508 people across every state, plus Washington, D.C., and three U.S. territories, have tested positive for the virus, according to a New York Times database, and at least 990 patients with the virus have died.
Where cases have been reported
The explosion of new cases, which is expected to continue in the days ahead, comes as more state and private labs begin testing for the virus after weeks of delays and test kit shortages. New York State, which has been especially aggressive in testing, announced more than 5,100 new cases on Wednesday. That state accounts for more than half of the country’s known coronavirus cases.
The outbreak looks vastly different in the United States than it did a few weeks ago. At the start of March, with extremely limited testing available, only 70 cases had been reported in the country, most of them tied to overseas travel.
As the number of known cases reached into the hundreds, then the thousands, then the tens of thousands, life across the country has changed in swift, profound ways. School playgrounds and college quads now stand deserted. Nail salons, department stores, and barbershops have been forced to close. Baseball’s spring training, college basketball tournaments and concert tours have been called off.
The New York Times is engaged in a comprehensive effort to track the details of every confirmed case in the United States, collecting information from federal, state and local officials around the clock. The numbers in this article are being updated several times a day based on the latest information our journalists are gathering from around the country.
New York: 33,066 cases have been identified.
When a cluster of coronavirus cases was first reported in the New York City suburb of New Rochelle, local and state officials raced to contain the outbreak. The National Guard deployed. Drive-through testing began. Epidemiologists attempted to find contacts of the first patients.
Within a few days, though, it became clear that the virus was still spreading. With ramped-up testing, hundreds of new patients were being identified in Westchester County, on Long Island, and in all five New York City boroughs. Dozens of other counties reported their first cases.
By Wednesday, New York’s death toll from the coronavirus surpassed 280, by far the most of any state. The governor, Andrew Cuomo, ordered many businesses to close, urged retired doctors to return to work and asked for federal help in marshaling more hospital equipment.
“We need the federal government to use the Defense Production Act so that we can get the medical supplies we desperately need,” Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, said Monday on Twitter. “We can’t just wait for companies to come forward with offers and hope they will. This is a national emergency.”
|District of Columbia||231||3|
Though New York has had by far the most cases, other Northeastern states have also seen their case totals increase rapidly. New Jersey now has the second-highest number of known cases in the country, surpassing Washington State. In Massachusetts, more than 100 people are being diagnosed each day. In Connecticut, dozens of new patients have been identified on each recent day.
In America’s nursing homes, outbreaks grow.
Across the country, a pattern has played out with tragic consistency: Someone gets sick in a nursing home. Soon, several residents and employees have the coronavirus.
Older people and those with underlying health problems are most vulnerable to Covid-19, making the consequences of a nursing home outbreak especially devastating. At least 35 deaths have been linked to an outbreak at the Life Care nursing facility in Kirkland, Wash. Many of the victims were in their 80s or 90s.
In New Orleans and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., multiple deaths have been tied to senior centers. In Wisconsin, the National Guard was sent to help after a man died in a memory care unit and others were infected. Similar outbreaks have been reported in Ohio, in Colorado and in Bellingham, Wash., where 26 residents and six staff members at a nursing and rehabilitation center had been infected by Sunday.
Though many of the first coronavirus cases in the United States were tied to overseas travel, localized outbreaks have become increasingly common. New clusters in nursing homes and other places are emerging each day. Public health officials often are unable to identify how people are becoming ill.
|HOW VIRUS WAS CONTRACTED||CASES|
|Personal contact in the U.S.||280|
|Travel within the U.S.||138|
|Cluster connected to a community in New Rochelle, N.Y.||119|
|A nursing facility in Kirkland, Wash.||61|
|Travel in Egypt||52|
|Diamond Princess cruise ship||43|
|Long-term care facility in DuPage County, Ill.||42|
|Travel in Italy||39|
|A skilled nursing facility in Bellingham, Wash.||32|
The growth in cases of unknown origin has signaled to public health officials that Americans are being exposed to the virus at work, at shopping centers, and in travel hubs, prompting calls for people to stay home. Among recent cases: detainees at the county jail in Chicago, patients at two psychiatric hospitals in Michigan and John Bessler, the husband of Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.
Louisiana: Case numbers spike suddenly
At the start of March, with large outbreaks already reported on both coasts, officials in Louisiana had not yet identified a single case of the coronavirus. But in the days since, the state has been pummeled. By Tuesday morning, 1,795 Louisianans had been infected and at least 65 had died.
“Our trajectory is basically the same as what they had in Italy,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said last week as he restricted public gatherings and urged people to stay inside.
In New Orleans, where a majority of the cases had been identified, cars lined up early Sunday at a drive-through testing site.
“This should not be unfamiliar to us as New Orleanians,” the city’s mayor, LaToya Cantrell, said on Twitter. “We know how to handle storms, and this is not so different.”
Across the country, hundreds of counties are reporting cases of the illness. Here is a list of cases Times journalists have collected. Cases in New York City and Kansas City, Mo., both of which span several counties, are grouped together.
Deaths continue to increase
While about half of the deaths tied to coronavirus have been in New York or Washington, more states and territories have reported fatal cases in recent days. In Michigan, which had reported no deaths a week ago, the death toll spiked to 24 by Wednesday. In Guam, the territory’s first death was announced on Sunday. In Wisconsin, the state’s first five deaths were announced in recent days.
Many of the fatal cases were in people over age 70, including several in their 90s, but middle-aged adults have also been dying. In recent days, a man in his 50s from the Phoenix area, a 46-year-old man on Long Island and a Maryland woman in her 40s have all died.
“The spread of Covid-19 is broad,” said Barbara Ferrer, the public health director in Los Angeles County, Calif., where at least five people with the coronavirus have died. “Everyone should assume that anyone can have Covid-19, and anyone could unintentionally infect others.”