COVID-19 Surge Quickens Across Entire US, Leaving No State Safe

November 17, 2020by Nic Querolo, Bloomberg News (TNS)
Nurses with Wake County Health and Human Services prepare to administer COVID-19 tests at a drive-thru testing site in the McKimmon Center parking lot in Raleigh, North Carolina, on July 6, 2020. (Julia Wall/The News & Observer/TNS)

Eight months into the pandemic, the coronavirus is infecting Americans at an increasing pace no matter where they live.

The seven-day average of new cases was climbing in every state in the U.S. on Sunday, a shift from earlier waves of the pandemic when rates ebbed in some regions and leaped in others.

The count of new cases is edging closer to 200,000 each day. A month ago, there were about 8 million cases in all. On Oct. 31, they hit more than 9 million. Last week, it surpassed 10 million. The acceleration is a troubling sign in the week before Thanksgiving, one of the country’s busiest travel holidays, when large swaths of the population will visit older relatives.

The upper Midwest and Rocky Mountain West were home to some of the worst hot spots, with seven-day average rates rising as much as 30% in Wyoming and 24% in Minnesota. In the past week, 30 states saw single-day record case counts, according to Covid Tracking Project data. New Jersey, Arkansas and Alaska all broke records Sunday.

Worsening case counts have forced state leaders to reverse course on reopening, testing the patience and willpower of an exhausted American public. New Jersey took steps to curb indoor and outdoor gatherings, Washington state reimposed measures Sunday and Michigan ordered a three-week partial shutdown.

Increasing case counts are putting additional pressure on hospital systems, with a record of 69,987 people currently hospitalized for COVID-19 in the U.S. North and South Dakota saw their health-care systems under significant strain, with 525 and 625 patients hospitalized per million, respectively, the highest of any states when scaled for population.

The U.S. reported an additional 145,670 cases Sunday, about 25,000 fewer than Friday’s record high, according to Covid Tracking Project data. (Reporting on weekends is patchy, which can affect case counts.)

There have been more than 246,000 deaths cumulatively, Johns Hopkins University data show.

According to Covid Tracking Project data:

— Alaska, Minnesota and South Dakota had the most new cases per million people.

— The states with the worst momentum are Wyoming, Colorado, Minnesota, Vermont and Michigan as measured by the% change in seven-day average cases from a week earlier.

— Black people are dying at 2.1 times the rate of white people.

___

(c)2020 Bloomberg News

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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