U.S. Covid Cases Quickly Approaching 6 Million

Colleges prove a source of new clusters of cases as students return in person to some campuses.

As schools and colleges reopen around the country -- many virtually and many in person -- the total known infections of the novel coronavirus are quickly approaching in 6 million. 

The U.S. went beyond 5.99 million infections by Sunday evening and logged in nearly 183,000 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins Covid-19-tracking map

U.S. leads all other nations' official Covid-19 totals, but Brazil and India are catching up with India past 3.5 million infections and Brazil quickly closing in on 4 million. Globally, more than 25 million people have tested positive for the virus so far. 

Many outbreaks have been reported at colleges and other schools in the U.S. in recent weeks, leading to thousands of new cases as schools reopened. The University of Alabama alone identified more than 500 infections of students and faculty by Friday.

But at least one model sees total projected deaths declining by Nov. 1 to around 220,000, according to the Covid-19 Projections project.

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That number is still a staggering toll and does not include the many who may have chronic or long-term complications from Covid-19, but potentially reflects a wider adoption of public health measures.

"If people continue to follow the advice of trusted scientists and public health experts, we can continue making progress and prevent another surge," said Youyang Gu, the data scientist who created the covid19-projections.com, over Twitter.

Also on Sunday, the head of the Food and Drug Administration told the Financial Times newspaper that he is open to bypassing U.S.' stringent approval process for vaccines to potentially OK a Covid-19 vaccine before all typically needed trials are completed.

The FDA's Stephen Hahn told the London paper he was prepared to authorize a vaccine before phase three clinical trials are finished, if benefits of the vaccine were promising enough. 

The paper first reported on the potential for a vaccine getting fast-tracked by the November presidential election a week ago.