Editor’s note: This story will be updated regularly as new statistics are released.
The October surge of new COVID-19 cases in the United States continues to heat up at a rate that is alarming some experts.
The New York Times reports the daily average of new COVID-19 cases this past week has topped 62,000, a 32 percent increase from the average 2 weeks ago.
That includes 75,064 cases reported on Thursday, the highest one-day total since July.
New COVID-19 cases have skyrocketed by 70 percent since hitting a 2-month low on September 12.
The Times states that the higher numbers are being driven by a surge in parts of the Midwest and Rocky Mountain regions.
Experts told the Times that “pandemic fatigue” is also a factor as people return to bars, restaurants, sporting events, weddings, and political rallies.
Earlier this month, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned that small gatherings are becoming a major source of COVID-19 spread.
Michael Osterholm, PhD, MPH, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said on Sunday that “the next 6 to 12 weeks are going to be the darkest of the entire pandemic.”
Overall, the United States now has more than 8.4 million confirmed COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.
Hospitalizations have surpassed 38,000, which is significantly below the 50,000-plus numbers posted in late July but an increase from the 34,000 reported on Tuesday.
COVID-19 related deaths have now exceeded 223,000.
That total places the viral illness as the third leading cause of death in the United States in 2020, trailing behind only heart disease and cancer.
Another estimate predicts the United States will exceed 390,000 deaths by February 1 based on current conditions.
A daily tracking graph from the New York Times shows 33 states where “new cases are higher and staying high.” That’s up than the 28 reported last week.
There are no states listed where cases are high but declining.
The Times reports there are 7 states where new cases are lower but going up. There were 15 such states last week.
It also notes there are 10 states where cases are lower and staying low. There were 7 states in this category last week.
A weekly tracking graph by Reuters that was updated on Monday notes there are 42 states where new cases increased this past week.
Reuters also reports that the rate of positive test results nationwide this past week rose to 5.4 percent from 5 percent, the level the World Health Organization considers “concerning.” The rate had reached a high of 9 percent in mid-July.
Nevada and South Dakota both recorded positivity rates of 35 percent. A total of 14 states have positivity rates above 10 percent.
In terms of percentage, Rhode Island showed the largest increase among states in new confirmed COVID-19 cases. It recorded 1,397 new positive tests this past week, a hike of 67 percent from the previous week, according to Reuters.
Washington was next with an increase of 63 percent to 5,166 new cases.
Right behind was Connecticut, which showed an increase of 60 percent with 2,792 new cases.
There are concerns about the continued increase of cases in the middle of the country.
Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana all reported increases of more than 30 percent.
In addition, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Nebraska recorded hikes above 20 percent.
South Dakota, Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa also reported increases.
In terms of sheer numbers, Texas still leads the way in new COVID-19 cases, according to Reuters.
Texas reported 35,734 new positive tests, an increase of 18 percent from the previous week.
Illinois is now second with 25,447 new cases after an increase of 42 percent.
California was third with 20,596 new cases, a decrease of 9 percent.
Florida was fourth overall with 20,529 new cases, a jump of 14 percent.
Wisconsin was fifth with 16,912 new positive tests, a decrease of 8 percent.
There are concerns that recent rallies held by President Donald Trump are fueling spikes of COVID-19 cases.
An analysis by USA Today reports that there have been increases in new cases after Trump rallies in five counties in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.
The newspaper notes that the case spikes could be caused by other factors.
The Times reports that hospitalizations for COVID-19 have increased by 40 percent in the past month.
They note that 14 states have hit daily records for hospitalizations during the past week.
On Friday, Texas was listed as having 4,931 people hospitalized with COVID-19, almost 1,000 more than a week ago but well below the high of 10,893 reported in late July.
Illinois is now second with 2,463 patients, slightly more than a week ago.
California is third with 2,351 people hospitalized with COVID-19, slightly higher than last week.
Florida has the fourth highest number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients with 2,120, about the same as last week.
Indiana remains in fifth place with 1,515 hospitalizations, slightly more than a week ago.
Georgia has the sixth highest number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients with 1,351 about the same as last week.
Missouri, Tennessee, Ohio, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan are also above the 1,000 mark.
Wisconsin officials reported last week that 86 percent of hospital beds in intensive care units were in use.
A field hospital has been opened in a Milwaukee suburb in case medical centers become overwhelmed with patients.
The New York Times lists 24 states where COVID-19 related deaths have risen the past 2 weeks. That’s up from the 20 reported last week.
The Reuters graph lists 26 states where deaths had increased the previous week. That’s up slightly from the 23 listed a week ago.
Alaska had the highest percentage increase among states at 250 percent with 7 new deaths.
Wyoming and Maine both reported a 200 percent increase with a total of 3 deaths.
Rhode Island was next with an 144 percent hike with 22 deaths.
In terms of sheer numbers, Florida recorded the most deaths with 616 this past week, a decrease of 13 percent from the previous week.
Texas was second with 488 fatalities this past week, a drop of 26 percent.
California was third with 395 deaths, a decline of 7 percent.
Illinois was fourth with 244 deaths, a rise of 28 percent.
Georgia was fifth with 222 deaths, a decrease of 13 percent.
North Carolina recorded 187 deaths, a jump of 66 percent.