When the novel coronavirus first hit America, it barreled through the Northeast, hitting densely populated areas like New York City fast and hard. Over the summer, as the Northeast responded with strict containment measures, there were new COVID spikes in the South and West. Now, as fall arrives, a new region is seeing serious surges in their case counts, and it’s an area that was previously spared: the Midwest.
This week, three states that began with very low numbers are seeing record surges that mark their highest case counts to date. Though according to The New York Times, the U.S. has managed to lower its overall case count from an average of 66,000 positive tests daily to an average of 40,000, the disturbing new trend demonstrated in these three states just goes to show that we’re hardly out of the woods yet. Read on to find out which three states are seeing record-high spikes. And for more on surges in this region, check out 9 Midwestern States Seeing Surges in COVID-19 Cases.
As of Wednesday, Missouri had a 14-day average of 1,419 newly confirmed coronavirus cases per day. According to Newsweek, a White House “red zone” report released last week ranked Missouri as the fourth highest state for having 100 new coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents.
Additionally, the state’s testing positivity rate is currently seventh in the country, with 60 percent of counties reporting either moderate or high levels of community transmission. These are never before seen numbers for the once unscathed state. And for more on recent surges, check out The 4 States Seeing the Worst COVID Spikes.
The New York Times coronavirus tracker shows that over the past week, Wisconsin has seen an average of 1,648 new COVID cases per day. This represents a 139 percent increase from the average two weeks prior. Perhaps even more disturbing, the single day case count for Sept. 18 was 2,592, suggesting that the state is headed for a continued upward trend.
This brings Wisconsin’s total case count to over 103,000 and its death rate to 1,247. It also gives the state one of the fastest growing case counts in the nation.
With a state population of under 800,000, North Dakota’s COVID numbers may be deceiving. According to a New York Times case tracker, the state has had a 14-day average of 364 new cases per day, and while this number may seem comparatively low, it represents a 37 percent increase from the two weeks prior.
Never before has North Dakota seen its number climb so high or fast, prompting Harvard researchers to suggest a mask mandate and further lockdown measures for the state. And for more on how the Dakotas are faring during the COVID crisis, check out This State’s COVID spike is “Deeply Concerning,” Says White House.