A dozen US states reported record one-day increases in COVID-19 cases on Thursday, a day after the country set a record with nearly 105,000 new infections reported on Wednesday, according to a Reuters tally.
The outbreak is spreading in every region of the country but is hitting the Midwest the hardest, based on new cases per capita.
Illinois reported nearly 10,000 new cases on Thursday and along with Texas is leading the nation in the most cases reported in the last seven days.
Other Midwestern states with record increases in cases on Thursday were Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota and Ohio. Arkansas, Maine, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Utah and West Virginia also set records for rises in new infections.
Some cities and states have announced new measures such as curfews or reduced gathering sizes to combat the spread of the virus, but the United States has taken no action at the federal level. Seventeen out of 50 states do not require masks.
Many countries in Europe are shutting high-risk businesses and even ordering national or regional lockdowns as a second wave sweeps over the Continent.
In addition to rising cases, US hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients rose to over 52,500 on Thursday, up for an 11th day in a row and getting closer to the record of 58,370 set in July.
North Dakota reported only eight free intensive care unit beds in the entire state on Thursday. Hospitalization are a key metric because they are not affected by the amount of testing done.
Coronavirus deaths are trending higher but not at the same rate as cases. The United States is averaging 850 deaths a day, up from 700 a month ago.
In recent days, six states have reported their highest one-day increases in deaths ever: Arkansas, Idaho, North Dakota,
South Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming.
The pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of American life, including a record number of voters mailing in their ballots in Tuesday’s presidential election, whose outcome has yet to be decided.