In the USA, about 1 million people have tested positive for the new coronavirus in the last 10 days. The significant leap in confirmed cases broke records as the total number of infections in the country exceeded 10 million on Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University.
With the highest incidence of virus cases compared to all other affected nations, the U.S. was the first to reach this disturbing milestone. Cases confirmed in India and Brazil lagged behind, with 8.5 million and 5.6 million reported COVID-19 infections, respectively.
U.S. health officials have been reporting an increase in COVID-19 cases for weeks, while experts such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, warned of steeper consequences if no additional steps were taken to level the curve.
According to the New York Times, the seven-day average of newly diagnosed cases per day was over 111,000 in the United States on Sunday, well above the daily averages seen elsewhere in the world. Data from Johns Hopkins University indicates that the weekly average on Monday exceeded 120,000, double the average reported a few weeks ago. On October 30, the eve of Halloween, the USA confirmed 9 million COVID-19 cases.
The record increase since then is due to the fact that a number of regions are struggling with worsening numbers. Last week, at least half of all states reported a record increase in single-day virus diagnoses, and more than a dozen of them exceeded the record increase in daily cases recorded the week before.
The states with the most severe outbreaks are found throughout the Midwest and in mountainous regions, with some northeastern states, Oklahoma and Oregon, also reporting the highest daily case increases ever for two consecutive weeks. Other states that set records twice in the last two weeks include Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maine.
The latest national update, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and incorporating statistics reported through Monday, showed that a group of states in the Midwest – Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming – reported the highest incidence of new COVID-19 cases per capita last week compared to the rest of the country.
The number of hospitalizations in the U.S. and deaths related to COVID-19 are increasing in parallel with the number of cases. According to a New York Times database, nationwide hospital admissions increased by at least 40 percent between mid-September and mid-October, when over 40,000 COVID-19 patient admissions were recorded. The death toll in the U.S. was over 237,000 on Monday.
Data from Johns Hopkins University show that the number of deaths registered per day has been steadily increasing over the past month. It is approaching the daily deaths reported during the resurgence of the virus in summer, but remains significantly lower than the deaths reported at the beginning of the pandemic.