Hit hard by coronavirus in July, the residents of Texas thought the worst was behind them. But with lockdown fatigue setting in, cases are once more surging in urban areas across the state. One such hotspot is the city of El Paso, where officials have turned to drastic action to curb the spread of the virus. This week, police officers have been dispatched to the homes of residents in the Texan city who have tested positive, to order them to quarantine for 14 days. Those who flout the order could find themselves brought before a judge or facing a $500 fine. Similarly draconian measures are being replicated across the US, with the country passing eight million infections on Thursday and epidemiologists warning the nation is surging toward a “third wave” of coronavirus cases. Some 41 US states have seen a rise in new cases over the last two weeks, with the number of new daily infections topping 60,000 on Thursday – the highest in more than two months. As well as outbreaks in Texas and other western states, some of which have reached near record levels, severe and uncontrolled outbreaks have appeared in the Midwest of the country. Dr Hector Ocaranza, from El Paso’s public health authority, said the decision to use police officers to enforce quarantines was driven by public resistance to the city’s contact tracing efforts. In some cases, he said, people do not answer the phone to contact tracers because they do not recognise the number; in others because they do not want to quarantine.