NEW YORK: The number of new COVID-19 cases in the United States has risen for two weeks in a row in 27 out of 50 states, with North Carolina and New Mexico both reporting increases above 50 per cent last week, according to a Reuters analysis.
The United States recorded 316,000 new cases in the week ended Sep 27, up 10 per cent from the previous seven days and the highest in six weeks, according to the analysis of state and county data.
The nation's top infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci, told ABC News that the country was "not in a good place."
"There are states that are starting to show (an) uptick in cases and even some increases in hospitalisations in some states. And, I hope not, but we very well might start seeing increases in deaths," he said, without naming the states.
North Carolina reported a 60 per cent jump in new cases to 13,799 last week, while New Mexico saw new infections rise 55 per cent to 1,265. Texas also reported a 60 per cent jump in new cases to 49,559, though that included a backlog of several thousand cases.
Deaths from COVID-19 have generally declined for the past six weeks, though still stand at more than 5,000 lives lost a week. Deaths are a lagging indicator and generally rise weeks after a surge in cases.
Testing in the country set a record of over 880,000 tests a day, surpassing the previous high in July of 820,000.
Nationally, the share of all tests that came back positive for COVID-19 held steady at about 5 per cent, well below a recent peak of nearly 9 per cent in mid-July, according to data from The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer-run effort to track the outbreak.
However, 28 states have positive test rates above the 5 per cent level that the World Health Organization considers concerning. The highest positive test rates are 26 per cent in South Dakota, 21 per cent in Idaho and 19 per cent in Wisconsin.