The fall surge of new COVID-19 cases in the United States has escalated in the past week at a rate that’s alarming some experts.
The New York Times reports the daily average of new COVID-19 cases this past week has topped 85,000, a 44 percent increase from the average 2 weeks ago.
That includes the 1-day record of 100,233 news cases reported on Friday, Oct. 30, as well as the 93,581 cases reported on Monday, Nov. 2.
There were also 81,500 new cases recorded on Sunday, the highest 1-day total for a Sunday in the United States.
The numbers include more than 61,000 children testing positive last week for COVID-19, the most of any week during the pandemic.
Overall, the United States now has more than 9.3 million confirmed COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.
Hospitalizations have surpassed 46,000, which is below the 50,000-plus numbers posted in late July but an increase from the 38,000 reported a week ago. It’s also 2,000 more than the 44,000 reported on Monday, Nov. 2.
U.S. COVID-19-related deaths have now exceeded 231,000.
The viral illness is now the third leading cause of death in the United States in 2020, trailing behind only heart disease and cancer.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) predicts the daily death toll from COVID-19 in the United States could top 2,200 by the middle of January.
Another IHME estimate predicts the United States will exceed 390,000 total deaths by February 1, based on current conditions.
A daily tracking graph from the New York Times shows 40 states where “new cases are higher and staying high.” That’s up from 38 states late last week.
There are no states listed where cases are high but declining.
The Times reports there are 8 states where new cases are lower but going up.
It also notes there are 2 states where cases are lower and staying low.
A weekly tracking graph by Reuters that was updated on Nov. 2 reports that there were 575,000 new COVID-19 cases in the United States this past week. That was an increase of 18 percent from the previous week and a new weekly record.
It was the fourth straight week that new cases have gone up.
Reuters reports that there were 40 states where new cases rose this past week. It said 34 states have experienced increases for at least 2 consecutive weeks.
The news agency also reported there were 8.5 million COVID-19 tests performed nationwide last week.
Reuters reports that the rate of positive test results nationwide rose to 6.8 percent from 6.3 percent. The World Health Organization considers a level above 5 percent to be “concerning.”
South Dakota had the highest positivity rates at 50 percent. Iowa was next at 44 percent followed by Wyoming at 43 percent. A total of 17 states have positivity rates above 10 percent.
In terms of percentage, Maine showed the largest increase among states in new confirmed COVID-19 cases. It recorded 514 new positive tests the previous week, a hike of 96 percent, according to Reuters.
Iowa was next with an increase of 70 percent to 14,852 new cases.
In third was Kansas, which showed an increase of almost 67 percent with 8,951 new cases.
West Virginia was fourth with 2,977 new cases, a jump of 63 percent.
There were 20 states with an increase higher than 30 percent.
In terms of sheer numbers, Texas still leads the way in new COVID-19 cases, according to Reuters.
Texas reported 45,668 new positive tests, an increase of 11 percent from the previous week. In total, the state has reported more than 950,000 cases.
Illinois is right behind in second at 44,570 new cases, a hike of 42 percent.
Wisconsin is third with 32,506 new cases, a decrease of 3 percent.
California is fourth with 29,171 new cases, a decline of 5 percent.
Florida is fifth overall with 28,776 new cases, a jump of 22 percent.
Michigan is sixth with 21,794 new cases, an increase of 32 percent, while Ohio is seventh with 20,885 new cases, a hike of 28 percent.
There are concerns that recent campaign rallies held by President Donald Trump are fueling spikes of COVID-19 cases.
A study from Stanford University reported that 18 Trump rallies between June 20 and September 22 may have led to 30,000 COVID-19 cases and 700 deaths. The researchers noted that the cases weren’t limited to people who attended the rallies.
An analysis by CNN of 17 Trump rallies in 13 states reported that 14 of the host counties showed increased cases of COVID-19 a month after the campaign gatherings.
CNN reported that 10 of the counties saw new cases increase at a higher rate than the rest of their state.
Eight of the 14 counties had declining case rates before the rallies.
Two people who attended a Trump rally in North Carolina on October 21 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Health officials said anyone who attended the rally should get tested and take necessary precautions.