US Is First to 8M Cases

Multiple states are dealing with surges
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 16, 2020 4:05 PM CDT
US Virus Cases Reach 8M
First-grade teacher Jessica Johnson asks students if they've been sick or near anyone who's been sick at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School in De Pere, Wis., in August. Wisconsin is one of seven that had a record number of hospitalizations for the coronavirus Thursday.   (Sarah Kloepping/The Post-Crescent via AP, File)

Less than a month after the total number of coronvirus cases reached 7 million, the US has hit the next major milestone. The nation is now the only one in the world to have 8 million reported cases, USA Today reports. That's out of 38.9 million world cases, per Johns Hopkins' count. The global death toll is almost 1.1 million, while the US has counted 217,000 deaths. Researchers have said actual US total surely is higher than 8 million, per CNN, because testing capacity was low early in the pandemic.

Especially worrisome to experts is the recent jump in US daily infections, which are up 55% in a bit over a month. The one-week average of new daily cases now tops 53,000, per Johns Hopkins. Seven states had a record number of hospitalizations Thursday for COVID-19: Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin. And 14 set records for seven-day averages of new daily cases. The Covid Tracking Project lists the nation's average test-positivity rate over a week at higher than 5%. "The virus is now winning," said New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. (More coronavirus stories.)

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