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Coronavirus deaths increasing: Florida, Texas, Arizona, California. Pro Publica says sudden deaths at home increasing in Houston.


photo by Jakub Orisek courtesy of

Texas had only 20-23 deaths a day on average at the end of May.  Now it is seeing a 7-day average of 60 deaths a day, and the last two days had 90 and 119.  Florida, which averaged 32 a day at the end of May, now averages 48– and it had 63 on July 7 and 48 yesterday (Florida’s daily case average has increased more than ten-fold in the last 6 weeks.)  Arizona, which averaged 12 deaths a day at the end of May, is averaging 32 now– and had 101 on July 7 and 40 yesterday.  California had 83 deaths on July 6, 111 deaths on July 7 and 145 yesterday (pushing the 7-day average to 77)– after a low point of 56 average on June 8 and 60 average on June 28.

These are the four biggest states with increasing outbreaks at the moment.  All have posted record new case days during the last week.  All are now pushing record new deaths and 7-day averages.  Data comes from the New York Times interactive pages on coronavirus counts.  Here is a piece in the Miami Herald on the same subject.

This comes with a Pro Publica report yesterday noting a dramatic increase in deaths at home in Houston.  The Pro Publica piece begins with a description of a case that occurred on June 22, in which a 54 year-old woman with diabetes died suddenly at home after complaining of chest pain and fatigue to her daughter.  She noticed that her mother was breathing rapidly and called 911.  Then the mother stopped breathing altogether.  The daughter tried to do CPR (without really knowing how) but when the ambulance arrived, the mother was already dead.  She had not been suspected of having COVID-19 before she died; she had no headache, fever, or cough.  An autopsy found that she had the virus.

In June, Houston ambulances responded to 300 cases in which the patient was already dead when they arrived– 75 more than in either of the previous two Junes.  On July 3, they had 18 such calls in a single day.  Something similar happened at the height of the outbreak in New York City, where 300 calls a day were for cardiac arrests; only 65 calls a day were recorded last year at the same time.  The Pro Publica piece ends with a discussion of the risks for post-traumatic stress disorder in the survivors as well as the ambulance technicians.

The Houston woman whose mother died suddenly says she and her siblings are in a constant state of panic now.  She wants to take CPR classes after trying and failing to revive her mother.  Her father is grieving alone– and she can’t face being in the same house where her mother died.

The number of new cases per day for the country as a whole hit a nadir between May 26 and June 9.  Since then, the rate of new cases has tripled.  Deaths over the whole country peaked at an average just above 2,000 a day the third week of April, then dropped to around 600 by the end of June.  New deaths hit a daily low of 292 on June 21 and 270 on June 27, then 209 on July 5 and 242 on July 6.  On July 7, there were 922 deaths reported, on July 8, 897, and this morning, 867.  Suddenly, rates are going back up again.

So, to the erstwhile leader of our country who claims that deaths have plummeted: just wait.  They’ll start dying soon enough.

Post-script: the rate of new coronavirus cases in Tulsa, Oklahoma has been increasing since the ill-omened rally for the Republican presidential candidate.  Since June 20, there have been 8.459 new cases reported in Oklahoma and the total of cases has almost doubled; the rate of new cases per day has doubled in the last three weeks.  The number of people currently hospitalized has more than doubled  (see COVID tracking project data for Oklahoma.)



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