The United States is showing a slight uptick in the average number of daily coronavirus cases and deaths – as about 20 states reported increases in new infections in the past week.
The average number of infections per day was at more than 37,000 on Tuesday after increasing steadily since the weekend.
Cases, on average, have been trending downwards nationally since July when about 70,000 infections were being reported daily.
Daily deaths are now averaging at just over 840 per day after the average number of fatalities dropped to 720 a week ago.
Deaths in the US have been declining steadily since mid-August when an average of 1,000 American were dying each day.
More than 195,000 Americans have now died from COVID-19 and there has been over 6.6 million infections.
The uptick in cases comes after health officials had warned there could be increases following the Labor Day weekend.
It comes as 20 states reported an uptick in cases within the last week with North Dakota, Wisconsin and South Carolina all recording single-day highs in new infections.
South Carolina’s infection peaked at 2,454 on September 11 with the state now recording more than 133,00 cases.
North Dakota’s cases spiked to a record 467 on September 12 and now total more than 16,000.
Cases in Wisconsin surged to a single day high of 1,624 on September 13. Infections in the state have risen 38 per cent in the last week, bringing the total to more than 96,900.
Twelve of the 20 states that have seen increases in the last week have high case numbers in relation to the population.
They include North Dakota, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Nebraska, Kentucky, Utah and Louisiana.
Texas is also among the states seeing an uptick after recording a spike of 5,300 new cases on Tuesday. Cases in the former hotspot state had been on a downward trajectory since mid-August following a summer surge in Sunbelt states that sent the national infection rates soaring.
Eight other states are also currently seeing increases within the last week but their infection rates are lower when compared to their populations.
They include Alaska, West Virginia, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Connecticut, New Jersey and New Hampshire.
It comes just days after Dr Anthony Fauci described the data on US infections and deaths as ‘disturbing’.
Fauci was hopeful the US would not see a spike in cases after the Labor Day weekend as it did after other long holiday weekends including Memorial Day and July 4.
Health officials are still keeping tabs on any potential surges from the Labor Day holiday weekend.
They are now also warning Americans to be vigilant after President Donald Trump started holding indoor campaign rallies again.
An indoor event in Henderson, Nevada drew thousands on Sunday.
Trump on Monday also drew hundreds of supporters to an indoor event in Phoenix, Arizona that his campaign advertised as a ‘Latinos for Trump roundtable’.
Trump has made the case that if demonstrators can gather en masse for protests over racial injustice, so can his supporters. His campaign has insisted that it takes appropriate health precautions, including handing out masks and hand sanitizer and checking the temperatures of those in attendance.
It comes after it emerged last week that Trump had referred to the virus as ‘deadly stuff’ in a private conversation with Bernstein’s former reporting partner Bob Woodward.
Trump, at the same time, was publicly downplaying the threat of COVID-19.
Three days after delivering his ‘deadly’ assessment in a private call with Woodward, he told a New Hampshire rally on February 10 that ‘it’s going to be fine’.
Trump’s acknowledgment in Woodward’s new book ‘Rage’ that he was minimizing the severity of the virus in public to avoid causing panic has triggered waves of criticism that he wasn’t leveling with the American people.
Trump told Woodward on March 19 that he had deliberately minimized the danger. ‘I wanted to always play it down,’ the president said. ‘I still like playing it down because I don´t want to create a panic.’