New cases continued to surge over the weekend in 22 states, especially in the West and the South. Oklahoma and Missouri reported their largest single-day case increases yet on Sunday, and Florida passed 100,000 total cases, according to the state’s health department.
In Washington’s Yakima County, where the number of cases has more than doubled in the past month, the situation is dire. Gov. Jay Inslee said the county was at a “breaking point.” With a shortage of hospital beds, patients were being taken to Seattle, more than two hours away, for medical care. Yakima hospitals are also reporting significant staffing shortages because of employees who are sick with the virus or are under a 14-day quarantine after being exposed.
In the wake of another record-setting day for new coronavirus cases, Dr. Michael Ryan, the executive director of W.H.O.’s health emergencies program, said on Monday that increased testing was not driving the surge in cases.
“We do not believe that this is a testing phenomenon,” he said. “Clearly, hospital admissions are also rising in a number of countries, deaths are also rising, and they are not due to increase testing, per se. So there definitely is a shift in the sense that that the virus is now very well established at the global level.”
The declaration comes two days after President Trump told supporters at a political rally in Tulsa, Okla., that he had urged U.S. officials to slow down testing for the virus. Mr. Trump has attributed the recent upswing of cases in the United States to increased testing.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director general of the W.H.O., said on Monday that more than 183,000 new cases worldwide were reported in the last 24-hour period, “easily the most in a single day so far.”
He also warned countries not to make the virus a political issue, particularly as infections worldwide are on the rise.