Twenty-eight states, as well as Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, have experienced increases in new COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks, a trend that could be treacherous as the flu season approaches.
ABC conducted an analysis that also revealed increases in new daily positivity rates for 25 states, increases in COVID-19 hospitalizations in 35 states, and upticks in daily COVID-19 deaths in 18 states and Puerto Rico.
The data contributed to the rise of the seven-day average of new cases in the U.S. to more than 44,000 — the highest it has been since Aug. 21.
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Some of the current hot spots in the U.S. are the Midwest states, including North and South Dakota, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Nebraska. ABC notes that two states in particular, Montana and South Dakota, recorded their highest single-day increase in new coronavirus cases this week.
Hospitalizations in the Midwest have also hit record highs.
Other regions in the country, like the Northeast and South, are relatively low, although Northeast states are seeing increases in cases, with seven-day averages of new cases hitting the highest numbers seen since June.
Meanwhile, the South still contributed over 45 percent of the country’s daily regional caseload, averaging 18,000 new cases a day.
States out west like Montana, Idaho, and Utah have also witnessed increases, with a 26 percent new case uptick reported over the past three weeks.
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) recently announced that the state’s health department will be publicly displaying hospital bed capacity and ICU status on Thursday.
“It’s our actions as Montanans that have brought our total case count to over 16,000 and to nearly 200 deaths. It’s our actions as Montanans that have stressed our hospital resources and it’s our actions as Montanans that can flatten the curve,” Bullock told reporters.
Overall, it is a bleak outlook as the nation prepares to enter fall, which brings influenza infections.
Anthony Fauci, the lead White House coronavirus adviser, recently said that he is “not comfortable” with the volume of COVID-19 cases going into the fall.
“The only thing I can do is repeat what I repeat, maybe 20, 30 times a day,” he said on MSNBC. “That in order to avoid the acquisition and transmission of this virus, which is highly transmissible, you should have uniform wearing of masks, you should have physical distancing, you should avoid crowds, you should try and do things outdoors much more than indoors, and you should frequently wash your hands and to me that goes for any situation without exception.”
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