Researchers from the prominent projection model cited by the White House plan to release new data on the pandemic Friday.
Updated projections will show decreasing cases on a national level, but prolonged peaks in hard-hit areas, said Dr. Christopher Murray, the director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation model.
“We made a big push trying to take into account how people move around, like direct measurement through cell phone data,” he said. “There’s more social distancing across the country than I think we expected. A number of states in the south will have smaller epidemics than expected.”
With the growing social distancing, death rates among confirmed cases in some southern states will come down, which will mean lower national numbers overall, he said.
“Counter balance to that is that places like New York seem to be stuck at the peak for longer than we originally expected,” he added. “… It’s not something that I think anybody expected to see where people would instead of two or three days to peak, they’re spending a longer period and then cases will start to come down.”
States are warily look into easing restrictions
All but seven states have issued stay-at-home orders to limit the spread of the virus and shut down most nonessential businesses.
“We must get this right because the stakes are very high. If we don’t do it right, the consequences are horrendous,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said. “It’s going to be gradual. It’s going to be rolling it out one thing after another.”
Governors will make the call on when to reopen their states, Trump said.
“Some states will be able to open up sooner than others. Some states are not in the kind of trouble that others are in,” he added.
The number of new cases is dropping in some states, but health officials have also identified new outbreaks. In New Hampshire, for example, clusters were identified at three long-term care facilities.
Antibody tests are available but no treatment
There is no specific treatment for Covid-19. Doctors are trying out various drugs and procedures, but it’s still not known if they’ll work.
Trump has often touted hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment, calling it a “game changer.” But there’s little evidence it’s safe or effective for coronavirus patients. More than two dozen clinical trials are underway in the US and dozens others are being conducted worldwide.
There are currently four antibody tests approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Antibody tests identify whether someone has already been infected with coronavirus and developed antibodies to it. Whether a patient is immune from being re-infected is unclear.
Coronavirus infections are straining meat processing plants
Coronavirus is infecting employees at the nation’s meat processing plants, raising fears of a strain in the food supply.
In Georgia, three employees at a Tyson Foods plant have died from coronavirus and several others are sick or in quarantine, according to the Retail, Warehouse and Department Store Union.
“Workers debone chickens elbow to elbow with no access to masks. They work at speeds of upwards of 80 chickens per minute,” the Union said.
It accused Tyson of delaying distribution of personal protective equipment to workers, implementation of social distancing protocols, protective barriers and staggered start times and breaks. CNN has reached out to Tyson Foods for comment.
CNN’s Wes Bruer, Nicole Chavez, Jay Croft, Dakin Andone, Jamiel Lynch, Joe Sutton and Andy Rose contributed to this report.