More than 71,000 people have now died from the coronavirus across the United States – as states like California and Montana move towards reopening despite experts warning that relaxing social distancing could cause a further spike in deaths.

The death toll has increased by 1,361 in 24 hours, bringing the total number of fatalities to 71,642.

There are now more than 1.2 million COVID-19 infections across the country.

The increasing death and infection tolls comes as California moved to ease some of its restrictions this week and a Montana public school was set to become the first in the country to reopen following weeks-long lockdowns.

Public health experts are warning that apart from epicenter New York, known infection rate are rising even as the majority of states move to lift their lockdowns.

Taking New York’s progress out of the equation, data shows the rest of the US is moving in the wrong direction with new confirmed infections per day exceeding 20,000, and deaths per day are well over 1,000.

Public health officials warn that the failure to flatten the curve and drive down the infection rate in places could lead to many more deaths as people are allowed to venture out and businesses reopen.

In California, Governor Gavin Newsom will ease the state’s stay-at-home orders by Thursday after facing mounting pressure from local leaders to ease the state’s strict lockdown measures.

A Washington Post-University of Maryland poll found that the majority of Americans are opposed to restaurants, retail stores and other businesses reopening amid the pandemic.

About 67 percent said they would be uncomfortable going into a retail store, while 78 percent said they would feel discomfort sitting down at a restaurant.

While the daily number of new deaths in the New York metropolitan area has declined markedly in recent weeks, it has essentially plateaued in the rest of the US.

Pockets of America far from New York City are seeing ominous trends.

Deaths in Iowa surged to a new daily high of 19 on Tuesday, and 730 workers at a single Tyson Foods pork plant tested positive.

On Monday, Shawnee County, home to Topeka, Kansas, reported a doubling of cases from last week on the same day that business restrictions began to ease.

Gallup, New Mexico, is under a strict lockdown until Thursday because of an outbreak, with guarded roadblocks to prevent travel in and out the town and a ban on more than two people in a vehicle.

Authorities have been sending water tankers into town, hospital space is running short, and a high school gym has been converted into a recuperation center with 60 oxygen-supplied beds.

More than 30 percent of Americans say they won’t be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus once a jab is developed, a new survey reports.

The report, from PR firm Bospar, found that one-third of adults did not trust being immunized against the virus that has killed more than 69,000 in the US.

Among age groups, those between ages 18 and 24 (made up of Generation Z and Millennials) were the least likely to vaccinate.

However, almost half of the participants said they would ‘respect the choice’ of those who chose not to inoculate against the killer infection.

The results are surprising, especially on the heels of health experts warning the public that the virus will likely ‘be with us for years.’

Baby boomers and the silent generation were the most likely to be vaccinated with 78.3 percent saying they would be immunized.

Meanwhile, younger participants between ages 18 and 24 were the least likely with 57.6 percent saying they would not be vaccinated.

Men were more likely than women to say they would be get a jab against COVID-19 and Democrats were 16 percent more likely than Republican to say they had plans to be immunized.

 

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