Story at a glance
- On Thursday, the U.S. recorded 76,195 new coronavirus cases, the highest since the summertime peak.
- Deaths and hospitalizations are showing corresponding increases as well.
With coronavirus infections steadily increasing in the U.S., the number of new COVID-19 cases reported on Thursday was the second highest since the onset of the pandemic in the country, falling closely behind a peak during mid July, according to Reuters.
Both cases and deaths have been showcasing rising rates over the past two weeks, culminating in 76,195 new cases reported on Thursday.
This figure nears the country's single-day record of 77,299 cases on July 16.
Of all the countries in the world, only India has experienced a higher single-day new case count, which was on Sept. 17 at 97,894 cases.
A day after the United States saw more than 1,200 additional deaths associated with COVID-19 infections, 916 deaths were also reported on Thursday — the first time since August.
Along with the other two indicators of the pandemic’s severity, hospitalizations have also increased, with more than 41,000 patients hospitalized with coronavirus infections across the country. States reporting record numbers of COVID-19 patients in hospitals for treatment are Kentucky, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Wyoming and Tennessee.
Although upticks in new cases are being reported in several U.S. regions, the Midwest is being hit particularly hard, following outbreaks along the coasts and the Sun Belt earlier this year.
North Dakota is one of the states struggling to contain its outbreaks, recording 887 new cases on Thursday. South Dakota, Wisconsin, Montana and Iowa are among the other 34 states experiencing increasing case per capita figures.
Similarly, eight states in the Midwest and Southwest, including Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma and Utah, all saw their highest daily increase of new cases since the beginning of the pandemic.
Strictly by volume of cases, Texas and California, two heavily populated states, reported the most new infections on Thursday, with 6,820 and 6,365 new cases, respectively.
These increasing figures came the same day that the two presidential candidates, former vice president Biden and President Trump, painted starkly different trajectories for the months ahead. During the presidential debate Thursday, Biden warned of a “dark winter” as COVID-19 infections increase, while Trump insisted the country is “rounding the corner” regarding the pandemic.
Trump also said that a vaccine will be ready within weeks, despite public health experts and pharmaceutical executives estimating that a widespread vaccine won’t be available until mid-2021.
The Food and Drug Administration did announce on Thursday that it had approved Remdesivir, developed by Gilead, as the first treatment for COVID-19 cases.