U.S. Coronavirus Cases Set New Record as Infections Soar

on Oct31
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CHICAGO — More than 99,000 coronavirus infections were reported across the United States on Friday, setting the single-day record for cases as the nation’s outbreak spiraled further out of control. The previous record had been set only a day earlier, providing a sense of how quickly the current surge is mounting.

“The cases continue to increase, the hospitalizations continue to increase and the deaths continue to increase,” said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, as more than 8,000 new cases, a record, were announced statewide on Friday and as the governor imposed business restrictions in more counties.

The national case total, which was certain to grow through the evening as more states and counties reported data, was but one sign of the country’s extraordinarily bleak outlook.

Through Thursday, 24 states had reported more cases in the previous week than in any other seven-day stretch. At least 12 states set single-day case records on Friday. And deaths, though still far below their spring peak, have started to rise again, now exceeding 800 a day on average.

“The virus is raging throughout the state, and there is no place to hide,” Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio said this week. Nearly 20,000 cases have been identified in Ohio since last Friday, a stretch that includes the state’s four worst daily totals of the pandemic.

With cases rising in 42 states and relatively flat in the other eight, an uptick that started weeks ago in the Upper Midwest and the Rocky Mountains has now reached every region.

Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin continue to report new infections at the highest rates in the country, with none of them showing real signs of improvement. But Alaska, Kentucky, New Mexico, Tennessee and West Virginia are among those now also struggling.

“Remember,” Gov. Andy Beshear of Kentucky said on Friday, “the more cases, the more people in the hospital, the more people in the I.C.U. and the more people who die.”

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