Coronavirus watch: Southern, Midwest states see spike in cases
More states in the South and Midwest are starting to report their biggest one-day increases for coronavirus cases, at a time when parts of the Northeast are beginning to show progress.
Illinois added more than 1,500 cases Thursday, an 11 percent jump from the previous day and record one-day increase for the state. It also reported 80 new deaths on Thursday, another record high. As of Thursday afternoon, Illinois had a total of 15,078 cases and 462 deaths.
For the third consecutive day, Michigan added more than 100 deaths. By Thursday afternoon, the state had surpassed 1,000 total deaths, more than other states with a similar population. As of Thursday afternoon, Michigan had 21,504 cases and 1,076 deaths.
Kansas reported its first one-day increase of more than 150 cases, nearly three times the previous day’s jump. The state also reported eight new deaths, marking the first time more than five people died of the virus in the state on a single day. As of Thursday afternoon, Kansas has 1,106 cases and 42 deaths.
West Virginia had its worst day so far, adding 71 new cases on Thursday. As of Thursday afternoon, the state had reported 485 cases and five deaths.
Though West Virginia has one of the lowest coronavirus death rates, it was the last state in the country to report a case, suggesting it may be one of the last to recover from the pandemic.
South Dakota, which didn’t have any form of “stay at home” guidance in place until Wednesday evening, had its worst day so far, adding 73 new cases and two deaths. As of Thursday afternoon, the state had reported 447 total cases and six deaths.
On Thursday, a meatpacking plant in Sioux Falls was identified as a “hot spot” for the virus after 80 employees tested positive for the disease.
As of Thursday, South Dakota had 52 cases per 100,000 residents, and West Virginia has 27 cases per 100,000 people, according to The New York Times.
While those rates are small compared with New York and New Jersey, the responses in South Dakota and West Virginia have lagged, and they have fewer resources to combat the outbreak.
Nevada was also among the states that had its worst one-day increase, adding 217 cases and 20 deaths. As of Thursday afternoon, the state reported a total of 2,456 cases and 80 deaths.
Las Vegas health officials said they expect to see a peak in their city as soon as mid-April, according to the Reno Gazette Journal.