CHICAGO: The US Midwest has reported the most new case of COVID-19 in a single day since the pandemic started, straining hospitals, according to a Reuters analysis.
The dozen states that make up the region reported a record 16,807 new cases on Thursday (Oct 8), with the seven-day average up 40 per cent since a month ago.
Cases are rising the fastest in the upper Midwest, where the weather is the coldest, with Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin all reporting record increases in new cases so far in October. Illinois reported its biggest increase on Thursday since May 14.
And it's not just more cases.
The percentage of tests coming back positive is rising and tops 20 per cent in Iowa, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
The number of Midwest COVID-19 patients hospitalised also hit a record high on Thursday for the fourth day in a row and now tops 8,000.
Nationally, nearly 34,000 coronavirus patients are hospitalised, the highest since Sep 4.
Half the states in the Midwest have seen record numbers of COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals so far this month: Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
Michigan's hospitalisations reached 918 on Thursday, up from 687 the previous day.
Wisconsin is opening a field hospital outside of Milwaukee to handle the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalised tripling in the past month and hitting a new record on Thursday.
Most Midwest states are among the 30 out of 50 states that have seen cases rise over the past two weeks, according to a Reuters analysis. And nationally new cases are averaging 47,000 a day compared with 35,000 in mid-September.
Deaths nationally continue to decline, but health experts warn they are a lagging indicator that usually rise weeks after a surge in cases.
Cases are also rising again in New York, a city that in the spring endured the world's most rampant outbreak of COVID-19.
To try to prevent a second wave, New York City has closed businesses and schools in neighbourhood hot spots despite protests from a small contingent of Orthodox Jews.