Second Spike In First Wave Of Corornavirus Possible, Officials Warn

( As states began to re-open and relax coronavirus-related restrictions, people all over the country ventured out to get a taste of normalcy once again.
Over Memorial Day weekend, beaches, parks, lakes and other public places were packed with people, while others hosted outdoor get-togethers at their houses. This has concerned a lot of people in the health community, who worry people aren’t abiding by continued social distancing restrictions that are in place, which could cause another spike in positive cases and deaths.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, 22 states are reporting steady numbers of new coronavirus cases, while 10 states are reporting declines. The remaining 18 states, however, are experiencing a rise in new cases.
In Arkansas, one of the states experiencing a rise, a pool party held last week resulted in an outbreak of a number of new cases. Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson said the state is actually experiencing a second peak of coronavirus cases.
The World Health Organization last week said a second peak during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic is very possible. This could be especially true if people don’t follow social-distancing measures.
On Monday, the executive director of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, Dr. Mike Ryan, said:
“We need to be also cognizant of the fact that the disease can jump up at any time. We cannot make assumptions that just because the disease is on the way down now that it’s going to keep going down and that we’re going to get a number of months to get ready for a second wave — we may get a second peak in this wave.”
Officials predict a full second wave of the outbreak probably won’t happen before the fall, at the earliest. However, a second peak in this first wave is very possible.
WHO’s infectious disease epidemiologist, Maria Van Kerkhove, said “all countries need to remain on high alert” and be prepared to “rapidly detect cases” as stay-at-home orders and other restrictions on life are lifted. She continued:
“A hallmark of coronaviruses is its ability to amplify in certain settings, its ability to cause transmission — or super spreading events. And we are seeing in a number of situations in these closed settings. When the virus has an opportunity, it can transmit readily.”
As states around the country are allowing people to do more things again, local health officials and law enforcement are doing everything they can to enforce the restrictions that still remain in place. For example, while people are allowed to visit beaches and public parks in most states now, social distancing must still be maintained. Masks must be worn in some situations, and there are limits on the number of people who can congregate in groups.
Park rangers and police officers were stationed at state beaches in Rhode Island over the weekend, for instance, to ensure people were wearing masks and following the social-distancing restrictions.
But how effective a few people can be at enforcing these restrictions, and for how long, remains a question with no answer right now.