WEDNESDAY, Oct. 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A third surge of COVID-19 cases now has a firm grip on the United States, with an average of 59,000 new infections being reported across the country every day.
That tally is the highest since the beginning of August, and the likelihood is high that the country will soon see the most new COVID-19 infections a day since the pandemic began,The New York Timesreported. This latest surge differs from the previous two: Instead of acute outbreaks in specific regions, such as the Northeast this spring and the South this summer, the virus is now simmering at a worrisome level across nearly the entire country. Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming each set seven-day case records on Tuesday. Even New Jersey, which managed to bring the virus under control last spring, has seen a doubling in cases in the past month.
Even more troubling is the fact that this latest surge is coming as cooler weather is forcing people indoors and many Americans report they are fatigued by months of social distancing and travel restrictions, The Times reported. "We're seeing spread virtually everywhere," Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said during a news conference Tuesday. In his state, 69 of 88 counties are now considered "high incidence," meaning at least 100 virus cases per 100,000 people in the past two weeks. But instead of imposing new measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, DeWine said: "The fastest way we can do it is not for me to issue some order that you can't enforce or would be difficult to enforce, but rather for every Ohioan to take this seriously."
In North Dakota, which is leading the nation in new COVID-19 cases per capita, hospitalizations and deaths are at a high, and just 20 intensive care beds were available statewide.
Luckily, the climbing case count has not yet translated to increased deaths: About 700 people are dying from COVID-19, on average, each day. So far, more than 220,000 Americans have died from the virus.