In the United States, the pandemic has reached all 50 states, after West Virginia reported its first COVID-19 patient. There have been over 6,200 recorded cases and 107 deaths in the U.S., but public health experts warn the true rate of infection is likely much higher due to a severe shortage of tests. Many people who spread the virus are asymptomatic, helping the pathogen to pass undetected from host to host. Researchers at the Imperial College of London warn in a new study that without dramatic action, the novel coronavirus could kill as many as 2.2 million people living in the U.S.
Despite the dire warnings, large crowds continue to gather in many parts of the country. In Florida, beaches were full of spring break revelers Tuesday and were set to reopen today, though Gov. Ron DeSantis has ordered bars and nightclubs closed. Officials in New Orleans, Louisiana and Nashville, Tennessee, ordered concert venues closed after viral videos showed densely packed crowds holding early St. Patrick’s Day celebrations over the weekend.