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Sep 04, 2020
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The U.S. is headed for a new phase of the coronavirus pandemic as temperatures drop, flu season approaches and new cases of Covid-19 plateau at dangerously high levels.
Labor Day this weekend is among one of the first challenges of the fall for Americans.
Epidemiologists are concerned it might set the stage for another surge in cases — similar to the jump in U.S. cases following Memorial Day and the July 4 holidays.

The United States is headed for a new phase of the coronavirus pandemic as the country nears the fall, temperatures drop, flu season approaches and new cases of Covid-19 appear to plateau at a dangerously high level.

Labor Day this weekend is among one of the first challenges of the fall for Americans. Epidemiologists are concerned it might set the stage for another surge in cases — similar to the jump in U.S. cases following Memorial Day and Fourth of July holidays. The nation is heading into the holiday weekend with roughly 40,000 new Covid-19 cases a day, twice the number of daily cases from last spring, and with more businesses, events and activities reopened than before.

“We don’t want to see a repeat of the surges that we have seen following other holiday weekends,” White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN on Thursday. “We don’t want to see a surge under any circumstances, but particularly as we go on the other side of Labor Day and enter into the fall.”

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, added that states such as Montana, the Dakotas, Michigan and Minnesota have recently reported a worrying rise in the percent of tests coming back positive among people ages 19 to 25.

‘Accelerator weekend’
Daily new cases of the coronavirus declined for weeks after they peaked in late July at more than 70,000 per day. But now, daily new cases appear to have plateaued at more than 40,000, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Average daily new cases are up by at least 5% in 22 states, according to the analysis.

That level of pervasive spread combined with the holiday weekend have the makings of what Vanderbilt University infectious disease specialist Dr. William Schaffner described as an “accelerator weekend.”

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