U.S. Cases Near High-Water Mark as Midwest Surge Creeps East

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The Covid-19 pandemic is nearing its previous high-water mark in the U.S. as the surge that started in the upper Midwest drifts east to more populous areas.

The seven-day average ofnew cases rose to 61,141 on Thursday, the highest since Aug. 1, according to the most recent Covid Tracking Project data. It’s now approaching the country’s previous peak of 66,844 set July 23, when Florida and Texas led a surge across the Sun Belt.

The virus is still hitting the Dakotas, Montana and Wisconsin hardest, but the alarming trend has been slowly moving to Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and even Pennsylvania. That spread is running into rising cases in New Jersey, Connecticut and other parts of the Northeast.

The country is also running moretests than it was during the last two viral waves, which uncovers more cases. No wave has yet compared to the one that devastated New York City in March and April, when testing was far more spotty. Butpositivity rates and hospitalizations signal an outbreak that’s expanding irrespective of the nation’s monitoring capacity.

More than 223,000 Americans have died of the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University.

According to Covid Tracking Project data:

  • Cases are rising inall four Census Bureau regions, but the Midwest remains about three times worse per capita than the Northeast, more than twice as bad as the West and about 72% worse than the South.
  • Ohio, Indiana, New Mexico, Montana and Utah reported single-day records in new cases Thursday.
  • The worst states per capita in the past seven days are North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wisconsin and Idaho.
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