By Anurag Maan and Lisa Shumaker
(Reuters) – Four U.S. states in the Midwest reported record one-day increases in COVID-19 cases on Saturday as infections rise nationally for a second week in a row, according to a Reuters analysis.
Minnesota reported 1,418 new cases, Montana 343 new cases, South Dakota reported 579 and Wisconsin had 2,902 new cases.
In the last week, seven mostly Midwest states have reported record one-day rises in new infections — Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Minnesota and Utah reported record increases two days in a row.
The United States recorded 58,461 new cases on Friday, the highest one-day increase since Aug. 7. The United States is reporting nearly 46,000 new infections on average each day, compared with 40,000 a week ago and 35,000 two weeks ago.
All Midwest states except Ohio reported more cases in the past four weeks as compared with the prior four weeks, according to a Reuters analysis.
Some of the new cases are likely related to an increase in the number of tests performed. In the last week, the country has performed over 1 million coronavirus tests three out of seven days — a new record, according to data from The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer-run effort to track the outbreak.
However, hospitalizations have also surged in the Midwest and are not influenced by the number of tests performed.
Wisconsin’s hospitalizations have set new records for six days in a row, rising to 543 on Friday from 342 a week ago. South Dakota’s hospitalizations set records five times this week, rising to 213 on Saturday from 153 last week.
“Wisconsin is now experiencing unprecedented, near-exponential growth of the number of COVID-19 cases in our state,” Governor Tony Evers said in a video posted on social media.
Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and Wyoming have also seen record numbers of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the past week.
Cases have also begun rising again in the Northeast, including the early epicenters of New York and New Jersey.
In New York, more than 1,000 people tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday for the first time since June 5, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Saturday.
The United States recently surpassed 200,000 lives lost from the coronavirus, the highest death toll in the world.
(Reporting by Anurag Maan in Bengaluru and Lisa Shumaker in Chicago; Editing by Daniel Wallis)