Thirteen states, most of them in the West and Midwest, reported record-setting numbers of coronavirus infections over the past week.
The seven-day rolling average for new cases — considered a more accurate metric than the number of new cases reported each day — reached new highs in Alaska, Colorado, Indiana, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota and Wisconsin during the week that ended Sunday, according to data tracked by The Washington Post. Some of the largest jumps occurred in Montana, where the seven-day rolling average for new cases was up 61 percent from the previous week; New Mexico (54 percent); and South Dakota (44 percent).
Indiana, North Dakota, Montana and Nebraska also reported record high numbers of coronavirus-related hospitalizations on Sunday, as did Utah, where the rolling seven-day average of infections was up 18 percent from the previous week.
Some states witnessing a surge in cases, such as Wisconsin, have introduced new public health measures in recent weeks. But many others have not, and their governors are trying to put a positive spin on their worrisome numbers. Despite seeing some of the largest leaps in infections, South Dakota Gov. Kristi L. Noem (R) told lawmakers that the state “didn’t take a one-size-fits-all approach and the results have been incredible,” according to the Associated Press. In neighboring North Dakota, Gov. Doug Burgum (R) chose to emphasize the state’s 7 percent positivity rate, calling it “an achievement compared to many, many other states that have never been in the spot to have this low of a positivity rate and have their economy open.”
Nationwide, the number of new cases being reported each day has been slowly climbing since mid-September. As of Saturday, roughly 296,909 new cases and 4,497 fatalities had been reported in the past week.