More than 70,450 new coronavirus cases were reported in the U.S. on Friday, the highest since July 24, according to a New York Times database. More than 900 new deaths have been recorded.
At least nine states kept one-day case records on Friday: Wyoming, Minnesota, Wisconsin, West Virginia, North Dakota, Indiana, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado. And by Saturday lunchtime, Indiana and Ohio had set records.
The virus has also increased globally: a record of more than 415,000 cases on Friday, a record.
Epidemiologists warn that nearly half of the US states are seeing an increase unprecedented in the pandemic. Eighteen states and Guam added more cases this week than any other week. The nationwide seven-day average has increased by nearly 8,000 new cases every day since last Friday.
The virus has struck some of the country’s least populous states, but their relatively low populations may belittle the total number of known cases. The fluctuations in rural areas, calculated on the basis of the infections per person, were just as strong as the peaks in densely populated cities in the sun belt in summer.
According to the Times database, uncontrolled outbreaks in the Midwest and mountain west are driving the rise. Some of the fastest growing states had relatively few cases until recently, and now rural hospitals are tight.
Per capita, North Dakota and South Dakota are adding more new cases than any state since the pandemic began. Wisconsin – which reported more than 4,160 new cases on Friday, a daily record for the state – has seven of the ten metropolitan areas in the United States with the highest rates of recent cases.
Other states with large rural areas – including Wyoming, Idaho, West Virginia, Nebraska, Iowa, Utah, Alaska, and Oklahoma – have recently recorded more cases within seven days than any other week of the pandemic.
In the more populous states that have recorded cases, including Wisconsin and Illinois, the worst numbers come from rural areas rather than the largest population centers.