The United States records more than 70,000 cases in one day for the first time since July.
More than 70,450 new cases of coronavirus were reported in the United States on Friday, the highest figure since July 24 according to a New York Times database. More than 900 new deaths have been recorded.
At least nine states set single-day case records on Friday: Wyoming, Minnesota, Wisconsin, West Virginia, North Dakota, Indiana, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado. And by noon on Saturday, Indiana and Ohio had set records.
The virus has also increased overall: a record of more than 415,000 cases Friday, a record.
Epidemiologists warn that nearly half of U.S. states are experiencing surges different from anything they experienced earlier in the pandemic. Eighteen states and Guam added more cases this week than in any other week. The national seven-day average has increased by almost 8,000 new cases per day since last Friday.
The virus has hit some of the country’s less populous states, but their relatively small populations can make the total number of known cases misleading. The outbreaks in rural areas, calculated by infections per person, were just as severe as the spikes in the densely populated towns of the Sun Belt over the summer.
Uncontrolled outbreaks in the Midwest and Mountain West drive the surge, according to The Times database. Some of the fastest growing states had relatively few cases until recently, and now rural hospitals are under strain.
Per inhabitant, North Dakota and South Dakota are adding more new cases than any state since the start of the pandemic. Wisconsin – which reported more than 4,160 new cases on Friday, a single-day high for the state – has seven of the 10 metropolitan areas in the United States with the highest rates of recent cases.
Other states with large rural areas – including Wyoming, Idaho, West Virginia, Nebraska, Iowa, Utah, Alaska and Oklahoma – have recently recorded more cases in seven days than any other week of the pandemic.
In the most populous states where increases in cases are seen, including Wisconsin and Illinois, the worst numbers are not coming from the largest population centers, but from rural counties.