The number of new
Deaths are still trending upwards nationally with the number of Americans dying of COVID-19 increasing by 12 percent in the last week.
The daily death toll, which was just shy of 1,000 fatalities yesterday, is still well below the peak 2,500 deaths recorded in April during the initial peak of the virus.
The US has recorded more than 1 million new COVID-19 cases in the last week alone as new infections rose in every state except for
In the last week, the sharpest increases in new cases occurred in the Northeast with states like New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire and Vermont seeing a surge after managing to control the spread over the summer.
States in the Midwest, including Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois and the Dakotas, still continue to record the most new cases per capita.
WEEKLY INCREASE: In the last week, the sharpest increases in new cases compared to the previous seven days occurred in the Northeast with states like New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire and Vermont seeing a surge. States in the Midwest, including Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois and the Dakotas, still continue to record the most new cases per capita
DAILY NUMBERS: The number of new COVID-19 cases in the United States spiked to 166,000 yesterday – down from the record of nearly 180,000 infections at the weekend
The COVID-19 crisis is deepening at overwhelmed hospitals across the country with some reaching, or nearing, capacity – particularly in the Midwest where the cases are highest per capita.
This new wave is more widespread than the surges that happened in the spring and summer, which occurred in the Northeast and Sunbelt states, respectively.
Forty states have reported record daily increases in COVID-19 cases this month and 26 states have had single-day highs in hospitalizations.
North Dakota and South Dakota, which have the most cases per capita in the US, now also have the highest death rates per capita in the world, according to an analysis from the Federation of American Scientists.
North Dakota ranks number one with 18.2 deaths per million people and South Dakota is third with 17.4 deaths per million.
Eighteen of the top 50 places worldwide with high death rates are in the US, the analysis found.
While fatalities – which are averaging about 1,000 per day nationally – could still potentially rise given it takes time for people to get sick and die, doctors believe the death toll might not be as bad as the initial waves because doctors now better know how to treat severe cases, meaning higher percentages of the COVID-19 patients who go into intensive care units are coming out alive.
Patients also have the benefit of new treatments, namely remdesivir, the steroid dexamethasone and an antibody drug that won emergency-use approval from the Food and Drug Administration last week.
DAILY NUMBERS: The daily death toll, which was just shy of 1,000 fatalities yesterday, is trending upwards nationally but is still well below the peak 2,500 deaths recorded in April during the initial peak of the virus
WEEKLY INCREASE: Deaths are still trending upwards nationally with the number of Americans dying of COVID-19 increasing by 12 percent in the last week. That states that saw the most deaths in the last week, compared to the previous seven day, were Michigan, Missouri and Nebraska in the Midwest and Maine, New Hampshire and New Jersey in the Northeast
In the last week, about 10 percent of COVID-19 tests nationwide came back positive, according to a Reuters analysis of state and county reports.
It means one out of every 315 Americans tested positive for coronavirus in the past week. Iowa, Kansas and South Dakota all had positive test rates over 50 percent. The World Health Organization considers rates above 5 percent concerning because it suggests there are more cases in the community that have not yet been uncovered.
The US is facing what health experts say will be a dark winter because of the onset of cold weather and crowded holiday gatherings, as well as a disregard for mask-wearing and other precautions.
Several governors acted on Monday to restrict gatherings and boost face-coverings in confronting a coronavirus surge they warned is out of control.
The governors, in states including New Jersey, California, Iowa and Ohio, cited health data showing the pandemic reaching its most perilous point yet, threatening to overwhelm hospitals and claim thousands more lives in the weeks ahead.
They acknowledged that tighter limits on social interactions would prove especially difficult through the winter holidays. But without efforts to immediately tamp down the spread of the virus, the governors warned, more drastic action would be necessary in the near future.
Health experts have projected the coming holiday travel season and the onset of colder weather, with more people tending to congregate indoors, is likely to worsen the situation.
Hospitalizations nationwide surged to a record high of 73,000 yesterday, which is now well above the previous peak of 59,000 hospitalizations back in April
Currently, hospitalizations per million people are the highest in the Midwest. South Dakota currently has 633 patients in hospital per one million people. North Dakota follow behind with 525 patients per one million
The spike in cases and hospitalizations has been especially striking in places like Iowa, a largely rural, Midwestern Corn Belt state spared the worst ravages of the pandemic when it began eight months ago.
Iowa, for example, has registered more than new 52,000 infections over the past two weeks, about the same number documented from March to mid-August, with COVID-19 accounting for one in every four patients now hospitalized in the state.
The state ranks third in the country for new cases per capita with 5,903 cases per 100,000.
With Iowa hospitals filling up, Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds has dropped her opposition to a statewide mandate for mask use to combat the spread of the coronavirus. Reynolds signed a proclamation Monday requiring that everyone over 2 years old wear masks when in indoor public spaces. The mandate applies only when people are within six feet of others for 15 minutes and they aren’t members of their households.
Reynolds also is limiting gatherings for social, community, business and leisure purposes to no more than 15 people indoors and 30 outdoors, including family events. Routine office and factory work and spiritual gatherings are exempted.
The governor rejected calls to close bars and restaurants for in-person service but is ordering that they close by 10pm. She also has suspended sports and recreational activities, except for high school, college and professional sports.
Wisconsin has logged nearly 317,000 COVID-19 cases and 2,649 deaths since the pandemic began.
Hospitalizations hit an all-time high on Monday at 2,274, with 456 patients in intensive care. The previous record was 2,102 on Wednesday, according to the Wisconsin Hospital Association.
Wisconsin ranks fourth in the country for new cases per capita with 5675 infections per 100,000 people, according to Johns Hopkins.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court weighed Monday whether Democratic Gov. Tony Evers exceeded his authority by issuing a statewide mask mandate in July after his original public health emergency related to the pandemic had expired – a move that opponents said was illegal.
Since the start of the outbreak, Evers has issued three public health emergencies and a series of related orders.
The court in May struck down Evers’ ‘safer at home’ order, ruling that his administration overstepped its authority when it extended the order without consulting lawmakers. A state appeals court in October put on hold another Evers order limiting how many people could gather indoors at such places as bars and restaurants.
North Dakota has logged nearly 65,000 COVID-19 cases and 595 deaths since the pandemic began.
Hospitalization rates are continuing to surge across the state with 400 people being treated as of Monday.
North Dakota’s Republican Gov. Doug Burgum, who has resisted a mask mandate for months, put one in place over the weekend, amid a severe outbreak in the state.
The state currently ranks number one in the country for cases per capita with 8,393 confirmed infections per 100,000, according to John Hopkins.
South Dakota has logged 66,278 infections and 644 deaths throughout the pandemic so far.
The state currently has the nation’s second-worst rate of cases per capita with 7,411 infections per 100,000, according to Johns Hopkins.
South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem on Monday showed no sign of budging from her hands-off approach to the pandemic, despite finding herself among a dwindling number of Midwest governors holding out against mask mandates and facing a death rate in her state that has risen to the highest in the nation this month.
South Dakota has reported 219 deaths in November – about a third of all its deaths over the course of the entire pandemic. The COVID-19 deaths have sent the state to the top of the nation in deaths per capita during November, with nearly 25 deaths per 100,000 people, according to data from The COVID Tracking Project.
Texas surpassed 20,000 confirmed coronavirus deaths Monday. That is the second-highest death count overall in the US, trailing only New York. It’s the 22nd-highest per capita at 69.7 deaths per 100,000 people.
In El Paso, mobile morgues are being trucked in to help overwhelmed hospitals and funeral homes. The El Paso county morgue reached out to the local sheriff’s department for help after it became ‘overwhelmed’. Inmates of the county’s detention facility ‘were asked to help for a stipend of $2 an hour’.
Texas also became America’s first state to record more than 1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases last week. It also recently surpassed California, the most populous state, in recording the highest number of positive coronavirus tests.
During the summer, people with COVID-19 overwhelmed hospitals in parts of the state before dipping in the fall. The virus started spreading again as restrictions were lifted.
Over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases has increased by more than 50 percent.
In New York, the former epicenter of the US outbreak, COVID-19 hospitalizations are the highest they have been since June. In the last week, the state has averaged 4,500 positive tests per day. The state’s hospitals and nursing homes have reported 185 deaths over the past seven days.
New York has struggled to contain rising rates of coronavirus infections in recent weeks with various clusters in Brooklyn, Westchester and the Finger Lakes.
Gov Andrew Cuomo last week limited private indoor and outdoor gatherings to no more than 10 people ahead of Thanksgiving. Three New York county sheriffs have announced they will not be enforcing his tight restrictions on indoor gatherings.
Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino, who is a Republican, told the Times Union: ‘As a lawyer, former DA and judge, if I got brought into court I can’t justify it constitutionally. The threat is not so great that we should be limiting who they can have for Thanksgiving.
‘People have enough anxiety in their life without thinking that the police are going to come to their door and check on how many people are there.’
In neighboring New Jersey, also one of the hardest-hit states in the early phase of the pandemic, Governor Phil Murphy said he was ordering gatherings of people from different households limited to 10 indoors, down from 25, while the mandatory cap on outdoor gatherings will be lowered to 150 from 500.
California Governor Gavin Newsom said he was applying ’emergency brakes’ to his reopening plan, citing a doubling in the daily number of COVID-19 cases reported across the state over the past 10 days.
Under Newsom’s announcement, commercial and social restrictions will be tightened starting Tuesday in 40 of the state’s 58 counties, covering the vast majority of its 40 million residents.
The crackdown means no indoor service in bars and restaurants and more restrictions on many other businesses and public gatherings. California is also strengthening its face covering guidance to require individuals to wear a mask whenever outside their home, with limited exceptions, Newsom said.
While California accounts for more than 1 million cases – the second-highest number in the US – it is the nation’s most populous state with 40 million residents and ranks 40th in cases per capita.