As President Trump continues to tout a vaccine that may be just weeks away, coronavirus cases are surging once again, as the number of positive tests jumped to more than 70,000 for the first time since July.
More than 83,000 new cases were reported on Friday, marking a new record high for a single day since the pandemic began. Dr. Anthony Fauci addressed the rising numbers and the need to follow precautions in an interview on MSNBC on Friday, saying, “We’re not talking about shutting down, but we’re talking about doubling down on some of the fundamental public health measures we need to adhere to.”
Dr. Fauci also appeared on CNN to address the surge in cases and stressed the importance of wearing masks, washing your hands and practicing social distancing. “It’s not going to spontaneously turn around unless we do something about it,” he said, adding, “I plead with the American public to please take these things seriously.”
As of Friday, 15 states have seen more cases in the past week than during any other seven-day stretch of the pandemic. North Dakota is leading the nation in coronavirus cases per capita, while Illinois leads in the number of new cases per day, at more than 4,100.
Testing for the virus seems to be finally getting much easier, as Costco is now selling at-home coronavirus testing kits on its website now. The saliva PCR tests are administered by telemedicine platform AZOVA; the cost is $129.99 for the regular kit and $10 more for the “video observation” kit. Once the lab receives the test, people can expect their results within 24 to 72 hours.
It’s good that this testing option is available, but for Americans who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 — and their health insurance along with it — paying $129.99 out of pocket to get tested is no option. Free COVID-19 testing remains available at community sites nationwide.