WASHINGTON: The United States recorded 10,000 coronavirus deaths and over 1.1 million new cases last week, although state and health officials have said the Thanksgiving holiday likely caused numbers to be under-reported.
New cases fell 3.8 per cent in the week ended Nov 29, while deaths fell 3.9 per cent, according to a Reuters analysis of state and county reports.
Many testing centers were closed on Thursday (Nov 26) for Thanksgiving and some private labs had reduced staffing or were closed on Friday, according to state and health officials.
They said that figures for cases and deaths this week may be abnormally high due to a backlog of data from last week.
Hospitals, which were not closed due to holidays, may provide the most accurate data for last week. Hospitalised COVID-19 patients reached a record high of nearly 93,000 on Sunday, up 11 per cent from last week and double the number reported a month ago, according to the Reuters analysis.
Cases rose by 91 per cent in Washington state last week, the biggest percentage increase in the country, followed by California at 31 per cent and New York with a 25 per cent increase.
Illinois reported 831 COVID-19 deaths last week, the highest for any state, followed by Texas with 806 deaths.
Across the United States, 9.8 per cent of tests came back positive for the virus for a third week in a row, according to data from The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer-run effort to track the outbreak.
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Out of 50 states, 29 had positive test rates above 10 per cent. The highest rates were Iowa at 50per cent, Idaho at 44 per cent and South Dakota at 41 per cent.
The World Health Organization considers positive test rates above 5per cent concerning because it suggests there are more cases in the community that have not yet been uncovered.