The United States set a new record for reported cases this week, breaking 500,000 for the first time in the pandemic as the third surge continued to build across nearly every state in the country.
Today, the country recorded 88,452 new cases of COVID-19, its highest single-day total since the pandemic began. Over the past two weeks, 25 states have set a new record for cases in the past two weeks, including 17 states with record highs since last Wednesday.
The country reported a record number of tests, at 8.2 million, but case growth (24 percent) far outpaced test growth (9 percent), as we explained earlier this week. That’s also true for the entire month of October: Forty-seven of the 50 states, along with the District of Columbia, have seen cases rise faster than reported tests since October 1.
These cases are translating into higher numbers of COVID-19 hospitalizations in many states in every region of the country. All but 11 states saw a rise in people hospitalized this week, the largest increases occurring in the upper Midwest and Texas. Although we are not yet close to the hospitalization peaks of almost 60,000 that we observed in the spring and summer, the average number of people hospitalized this week rose to 42,621, a very substantial increase from the lows of about 30,000 that we saw just a month ago.
In some worrying states—North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin—hospitalization rates are approaching those of the Sun Belt–surge hot spots over the summer. At this point, we see no evidence that any state in the current surge has reached its peak and begun to decline.