The U.S. saw a large increase in coronavirus testing over the weekend, with more than 180,000 tests administered on Saturday. For the most part, those are polymerase chain reaction tests, which detect viral material in a patient’s nasal cavity. Over the weekend, the CDC rolled out a new kind of test — one that analyzes antibodies in the blood. The antibody test, made by biotech company Cellex, measures not just infection but also immunity, and will be crucial to the next phase of pandemic response. The ability to measure immunity will enable authorities to target social-distancing measures more narrowly.
That being said, the coming week will likely see a large increase in both deaths and new cases. As Dr. Anthony Fauci put it in a CBS appearance, “we’ve got to get through this week that’s coming up because it is going to be a bad week.” As various outbreaks approach “peak” caseload, state governors will face immense challenges in directing ventilators and personal-protective equipment to hospitals experiencing shortages.
New York remains the hardest-hit state, with New Jersey a close second. The outbreaks in Michigan, Louisiana, and Florida are troubling but seem to be abating.
As many U.S. states approach the peak of this initial wave of coronavirus infections, the growth of new cases is slowing in most of the hardest-hit states. The table below shows the average daily growth rate in new cases over the past five days and the change in that growth rate from five days prior.
As of Monday morning, more than 9,600 Americans had died of coronavirus. In New York, the number of new deaths fell for the first time this weekend, which supports the argument that the state is close to the peak.