MONDAY, Sept. 21, 2020 — As the U.S. COVID-19 case count neared 200,000 on Monday, public health experts debated whether the spread of the virus will continue to slow or a new surge will come, as cold weather returns to much of the country.
“What will happen, nobody knows,” Catherine Troisi, Ph.D., an infectious disease epidemiologist at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, told The New York Times. “This virus has surprised us on many fronts, and we may be surprised again.”
In the United States, fewer new COVID-19 cases have been detected week by week since late July, but the nation’s daily count of new cases has started to climb again in recent days, The Times reported. Meanwhile, at least 73 other countries are seeing second surges in new cases.
Tom Inglesby, M.D., director of the Center for Health Security at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, told The Times it was conceivable that the death toll in the United States could reach 300,000 if Americans start to relax social distancing measures.
As case counts started trending upward again, 1,400 public schools in New York City reopened Monday for nearly 90,000 pre-K students and children with advanced disabilities. The remaining 1 million students will start their school year online, with the option of returning to classrooms in the next few weeks, The Times reported.
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