The US has recorded the highest number of new coronavirus cases in a single day since August, after several states saw record daily spikes and the national total topped 7vmillion.
There were 55,054 new COVID-19 cases reported by health authorities across the United States on Friday, a Johns Hopkins University tally shows.
It’s the highest figure since August 14, when 64,350 new cases were recorded following a peak in infections in the summer.
The record uptick comes as the US surpassed the grim milestone of over 7 million total infections on Friday, just three days after virus deaths topped 200,000.
The nation currently makes up more than 20 percent of the world’s total cases and has the highest virus death toll than any country.
The alarming figures appear to be a result of a surge in cases in the country’s midwest where four states reported record one-day increases on Friday.
New York, once the epicenter of the deadly virus, is also experiencing an uptick with more than 1,000 residents testing positive on Friday – marking the first time since June 5 the state has seen a daily number that high.
The number of positive tests reported daily in the state has been steadily inching up in recent weeks, a trend possibly related to increasing numbers of businesses reopening, college campuses reopening and children returning to school.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced today there were 1,005 positive cases tallied on the previous day out of 99,953 tests, for a 1 percent positive rate.
From late July through the start of September the state was seeing an average of around 660 people test positive per day. In the seven-day period that ended Friday, the state had averaged 817 positive tests per day.
However, that number of daily positive tests in a state of more than 19 million people still puts New York in a much better position than many other states.
New York had been the worst hit state at the peak of the pandemic in March and April before infections rates finally dipped after the state imposed strict health restrictions.
The virus then struck the Sun Belt at the start of the summer and now, the it is devastating communities in America’s heartland that have been slower to implement restrictions or mandate masks.
Wisconsin, one of the states where cases are rising the fastest, reported 2,629 new infections, surpassing its previous record set last Friday, according to the tally.
Minnesota, Oregon and Utah also reported record increases in cases on Friday.
Every Midwestern state, except Ohio, reported more cases over the past four weeks compared with the prior four weeks, led by South Dakota and North Dakota.
South Dakota had the biggest percentage increase at 166 percent with 8,129 new cases over the last month compared to nearly 4,900 cases from the month prior.
According to the Rapid City Journal, the state set new records on cases, current hospitalizations and deaths on Thursday.
The state’s Department of Health reported 463 new cases and a new high of 194 current COVID-19 hospitalizations.
Eight deaths were reported on Thursday, which has only occurred on one other occasion, about 10 days ago.
South Dakota health secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon said it is too soon to know if the state has reached its peak.
Meanwhile Gov Kristi Noem tweeted on Tuesday that South Dakota is ‘in good shape’ with only five percent of ICU beds occupied by COVID-19 patients.
Meanwhile North Dakota’s new cases doubled to 8,752 as compared to 4,243 during the same time in August.
The Bismarck Tribune reported that active cases in the state have risen to an all-time high during the pandemic.
On Thursday, the state’s Department of Health reported 471 cases of COVID-19, bringing the states’s active case total to 3,483.
Currently, 26 patients are in ICU beds, making up almost 10 percent of North Dakota’s ICU capacity.
Meanwhile one-third of all North Dakota’s counties are classified as ‘moderate-risk’ with some ‘approaching high-risk.’
Despite the record, interim State Health Officer Paul Mariani broke with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and rescinded an order requiring close contacts of known COVID-19 patients to quarantine for 14 days.
Hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients also set records this week in Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.
COVID-19 infections in the United States are trending upwards and the average number of cases in the last seven days is up 10 per cent from the prior week, according to a Reuters analysis.
On average, the nation is reporting 44,000 new cases a day and about 700 deaths.
Despite cases still rising in Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis on Friday lifted all COVID-19 restrictions on businesses, including restaurants and bars, saying the threat of the coronavirus pandemic had eased sufficiently to allow the state to enter the final phase of its reopening.