Nowhere in the world has escaped the coronavirus, but why months into the pandemic are cases still surging in the united states, the first spike came in early april, driven by infections around new york, as well as hot spots in the deep south.
This second surge has now affected almost every part of the country. Personally, i think that we've opened up too soon. We thought we saw a light at the end of the tunnel, but it turned out that was a train despite the recommendations to open up carefully and prudently.
Some states skipped over those and just opened up too quickly, [ Music ]. So when did other countries lift their restrictions? Let's. Look at daily new cases in germany, italy and the uk, and compare those to the us.
Germany eased its lockdowns in late april, followed by italy in early may, and the uk waited until mid-june. What they have in common is all three countries were well below a recommended benchmark of less than four daily new cases per 100 000 residents.
The u.s saw a slight decline in case numbers, but was not close to that benchmark when the first states let their lockdowns expire on april 30th, nor by may 15th, when half of americans lived in states which had eased restrictions and by may 31st, when 47 states Representing 90 of the population had lifted, lockdowns cases were still above that dotted line in mid-june.
As cases in europe continued to decline, they surged in america, u.s politicians claimed it was down to more testing yeah. When we do 85 000 tests, we're. Going to have more, we're. Doing 40 000 tests.
We're, going to have less positives after a slow start. The us is testing more than other countries, including germany, italy and the uk. We're, definitely testing more and finding more cases than before, but the key issue is that the percent positivity of tests is also rising, telling you that the cases are outstripping our increase in testing meaning the outbreak is expanding.
Experts say fewer than five percent of tests should come back positive for a country to be confident about the true extent of the outbreak that's, represented by the yellow line on this chart. Germany, italy and the uk are all to the left, with positive results, making up fewer than five percent of all tests.
However, the u.s is just to the right of the line and the danger zone marked red, which means the virus is not contained and reopening is risky, lab, confirmed cases, public health at six feet, cases down wearing a mask.
It's hard to compare the whole of the u.s to other countries. So let's, see how individual states, arizona, florida and texas beared on these measures. We want to reinvigorate our economy. Well, two out of three were in fact below the recommended threshold for new cases at the time they reopened.
That's good. However, when we look at the positivity rate, all three were well above that 5 benchmark when they reopened in the spring. That indicates a problem with testing early on experts, told officials at least 500 000 tests per day were required to safely reopen the country that's.
Around 150 tests per 100 000 people, arizona, florida and texas were far below that level when they eased restrictions in the spring and have only now reached adequate testing levels, but that was too late.
Look at the positivity rates in the three states by july. There are, in fact, five benchmarks: a state or region should meet before lifting restrictions. Besides low infection rates, robust testing and a small share of positive results, they also include a two-week drop in cases and having enough icu beds, arizona failed, four out of those five benchmarks when it reopened texas, 3 and florida 2.
. So how did other countries prepare for potential surging cases as they reopened? Well, germany, for example, told its regions that 50 new cases per 100 000 residents in a week would trigger new restrictions and return to lockdown life.
If the u.s applied that same benchmark of 50 cases per 100 000 people, we see that 38 of the 50 states should return to lockdown. Now nine states have introduced partial restrictions as of july 14th, and 13 states have paused a reopening transition, but can others learn the lessons from other countries who for now got the outbreak under control?