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COVID-19 cases falling in U.S., officials fear Labor Day spike

By
Jean Lotus
Numbers of coronavirus infections are dropping in the United States, but health experts feared a spike after Labor Day. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Numbers of coronavirus infections are dropping in the United States, but health experts feared a spike after Labor Day. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Cases of coronavirus around the United States are falling, but officials warned that the country could see an increase after Labor Day and going into the fall.

The number of daily positive cases in the United States dropped to 31,395, with 403 deaths Sunday, the lowest number reported since July, the Johns Hopkins University COVID online tracker showed. The number of U.S. cases and deaths spiked in mid-August, data shows.

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The U.S. has reported almost 6.3 million cases since the outbreak began, and deaths have climbed to more than 185,000.

Positive virus infections in New York, the first U.S. epicenter of the infection, have been below 1% for an entire month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday. The state reported 520 new cases with two deaths Sunday. The total number of cases statewide has been 440,021 with 32,585 deaths.

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"As we close out this Labor Day weekend, I urge everyone to remain smart so we can continue to celebrate our progress in the weeks and months ahead," Cuomo said in a statement.

In Florida, state health officials reported Monday that the number of positive cases remained under 10% for 25 days. On Saturday, 5.06% of tested cases turned out positive.

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State health officials reported 1,888 new positive COVID-19 cases for Sunday, the lowest since June 15, when 1,758 cases were reported, and 21 new deaths. On Saturday, the state reported 3,164 current hospitalizations with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19.

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Florida has reported at least 640,000 cases and 11,800 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

At a Labor Day news conference, President Donald Trump hinted that a vaccine for the coronavirus is imminent.

"So, we're going to have a vaccine very soon. Maybe even before a very special date," Trump said. "You know what date I'm talking about," he added.

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But other medical experts have warned that a vaccine may take longer, such as Scott Gottlieb, former chief of the U.S Food and Drug Administration.

"If there is a vaccine made available, it's likely to be a very staged introduction of the vaccine under an emergency use authorization," Gottlieb said Sunday on CBS's Face the Nation."And it's just going to be for very select groups of people who are either at very high risk of contracting a coronavirus because of what they do, for example, health care workers or very high risk of a bad outcome.

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"I think the likelihood that we're going to have a vaccine for widespread use in 2020 is extremely low. I think we need to think of that as largely a 2021 event," Gottlieb added.

World moves to reopen amid COVID-19 pandemic

Visitors wear face masks as they tour the Whitney Museum of American Art as it reopens on September 3. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

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