US COVID-19 cases climb by record for second day in a row, up over 120,000

US COVID-19 cases climb by record for second day in a row, up over 120,000

Drive-thru COVID-19 testing site at the Alliant Energy Center complex in Madison
Dr Saulo Castellano labels a nasal swab sample inside a drive-through COVID-19 testing site at the Alliant Energy Center complex in Madison, Wisconsin, on Oct 31, 2020. Photo: (Reuters/Bing Guan)

WASHINGTON: COVID-19 cases in the United States surged by at least 120,276 on Thursday (Nov 5), according to a Reuters tally, the second consecutive daily record rise as the outbreak spreads in every region.

US cases have risen by over 100,000 for three out of the last seven days, putting pressure on hospitals in several states and causing families to rethink their plans for Thanksgiving dinner on Nov 26.

Twenty out of 50 states reported record one-day increases on Thursday.

Previously, the most states that reported records for new cases in a single day was 16 on Oct 30, according to Reuters data.

While the spread of the virus is wide, the outbreak is hitting the Midwest particularly hard, based on daily new cases per capita.

FILE PHOTO: Healthcare worker performs COVID-19 test at a drive-thru testing site at Bellin Health
A healthcare worker performs a COVID-19 test at a drive-through testing site at Bellin Health, a hospital in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on Oct 20, 2020. (File photo: Reuters/Gabriela Bhaskar)

Illinois reported nearly 10,000 new cases on Thursday and, along with Texas, is leading the United States in the most cases reported in the last seven days.

Other Midwestern states with record increases in cases on Thursday were Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin. 

Arkansas, Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah and West Virginia also set records for rises in new infections.

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Some cities and states have announced new measures such as curfews or reduced gathering sizes to combat the spread of the virus, but the US has taken no action at the federal level.

Seventeen out of 50 states do not require masks.

Many countries in Europe are shutting high-risk businesses and even ordering national or regional lockdowns in the face of a second wave of the virus.

FILE PHOTO: NFL football fans wear protective face masks as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outb
Fans of the NFL's Cleveland Browns and Las Vegas Raiders wear protective face masks while attending their game at the FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, on Nov 1, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton)

In addition to rising cases, US hospitalisations of COVID-19 patients rose to over 52,500 on Thursday, up for an 11th consecutive day and getting closer to the record of 58,370 set in July.

North Dakota reported only eight free intensive care unit beds in the entire state on Thursday.

Hospitalisations are a key metric because they are not affected by the amount of testing done.

Coronavirus deaths are trending higher, but not at the same rate as cases, with the US averaging 850 deaths a day, up from 700 a month ago.

In recent days, six states have reported their highest one-day increases in pandemic deaths: Arkansas, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming.

The pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of American life, including a record number of voters mailing in their ballots in Tuesday's elections.

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Source: Reuters/kg