After consecutive days of record-breaking new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. experts are raising concerns about the possibility that some parts of the country are already in the middle of a third wave.
On Friday, the U.S. logged more than 85,000 daily new confirmed coronavirus cases - the highest daily increase of new infections since the pandemic started.
The daily high was followed by more than 79,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases Saturday - triggering talks about the possibility that some states in the country may be well into a third wave.
Associate professor of epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, William Hanage, said the situation in the U.S. could be defined as the "metaphor of a wildfire."
Hanage said unlike a coronavirus wave, the situation in the country was more comparable to wildfires - which can be more intense in some areas.
Third Wave Worse Than First Previous Two?
Some experts believe that the third wave of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. will be worse than the second, and even the first wave as a result of the increasing weekly average infection rate.
As of Saturday, the U.S. had reached a weekly average of 23.0 infections per 100,000 residents. In mid-July, the weekly average of infections was at 20.5, indicating a rapid growth in transmissions.
The first wave, on the other hand, saw a weekly infection rate of 9.7 per 100,000 people in early April, when cases peaked.
Aside from more states being reopened to salvage a declining economy there is also rising concern about the holidays when people meet with friends and family.
U.S. Was Warned Of Third Wave
Before the record-high of daily new coronavirus cases Friday experts had been warning of a rise in COVID-19 infections during the fall and winter.
Health analysts and experts warned of reopening risky segments of the economy such as restaurants, bars and schools. Experts said places where crowds of people are allowed to gather could be breeding grounds of the virus.
However, multiple states across the U.S. kept up with reopening operations in closed-door settings. The White House under U.S. President Donald Trump also encouraged economic sectors to reopen as the presidential election closes in.
With the holidays coming soon, it is expected that more people will gather indoors to keep away from colder outdoors.
'Not Too Late,' Fauci Says
White House COVID-19 adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said last week that it was "still not too late to vigorously apply good public health measures" even without the need for a lockdown.
On the other hand, most states are keen on reopening, with some allowing for resumption of economic operations at a limited capacity.
The resurgence of coronavirus cases in the U.S. has mostly been linked back to the race of reopening local economies as bars opened doors and party goers came flooding in.
It is further expected that the situation of rising cases will linger when the seasonal influenza season hits. The influenza shares many symptoms with COVID-19 - which could make it harder for people to determine if they need to get tested for the virus.
The U.S. has more than 8.8 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 225,000 deaths.