Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.

More than 40 states are reporting an increase in Covid-19 cases and many in the Midwest are seeing record hospitalizations

  • Updated

An illustration of the Coronavirus was released by the .

The US is adding an average of more than 74,000 new Covid-19 cases to the national total every day -- a record high in a pandemic that experts say is likely to worsen.

The seven-day average is part of a fall surge that has brought the national case count to more than 8.8 million, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Four of the five highest number of cases in a single day were recorded in the last seven days, with the top two reported on Friday and Saturday. And 41 states are reporting at least 10% more cases compared to the week before.

When it comes to the climbing metric, the US is "not in a good place," director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci said during a virtual Q&A on Wednesday. Health experts have pushed measures against the virus to bring the baseline of infections down before colder months drove them back up. But rising records of cases and hospitalizations are making up "a bad recipe for a tough time ahead," Fauci said.

In the Midwest, residents are being impacted by the rising cases with spiking rates of hospitalizations.

Indiana and Wisconsin reported their peak levels of coronavirus hospitalizations. And Kansas saw the most ICU hospitalizations of the virus in one day, the same day the state surpassed 1,000 deaths since the pandemic began.

"Each one of these Kansans was someone's child, parent, or grandparent," Gov. Laura Kelly said in a release. "They were part of a community."

On Wednesday, 13 states reported more hospitalization records, according to the Covid Tracking Project.

Mask mandates lower hospitalizations, study says

Mask mandates may be a key strategy to lowering rates of hospitalization, according to the findings of a study from Vanderbilt School of Medicine.

In hospitals where more than 75% of the patients came from counties that required masks, rates of hospitalizations did not rise between July and October, while hospitals with fewer than 25% of patients from those counties saw an increase over 200%.

Other mitigation factors likely came into play, as areas with mask requirements are more likely to have residents who follow other mitigation strategies, the authors wrote.

"The good news is that we have learned a great deal since the beginning of the pandemic," they said. "An important takeaway from this analysis is that areas with virus mitigation strategies ... have seen lower growth in hospitalizations since the summer months; hospitals in these areas are in a much better position to serve the entire spectrum of community health needs, not just COVID-19 patients."

As the weather continues to grow colder, Fauci said in an interview with CNBC Wednesday that he supports a national mask mandate.

"We're going to have many more hospitalizations and that will inevitably lead to more deaths. So, this is an untenable situation. That's the reason why I say we have got to do these things," Fauci said.

While he is in support of a mask mandate, Fauci said he doesn't think it will happen nationally "because it might not come from the White House to do it."

States concerned over alarming hospitalization rates

Many state leaders are putting measures in place to bring rising hospitalization rates under control.

Smaller hospitals in North Carolina are beginning to feel "a little bit of the pinch" as hospitalizations creep up in the state, said Gov. Roy Cooper, who added that officials are concerned about the rise.

"We too often let our guard down when we are with people we know and trust. But knowing and trusting doesn't stop the virus," Cooper said.

Meanwhile, hospitalizations in Tennessee are rising at "an alarming rate right now, with records set every day," Dr. Wendy Long, president and CEO of the Tennessee Hospital Association, said during a news briefing.

Hospitals "are doing all that they can do to increase capacity, but their ability to do that is not limitless," said Long. "That is especially true as we see more and more health care providers who are becoming ill from the virus and having to quarantine at home."

Illionis is "getting close to the entire state implementing mitigation measures," Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Wednesday, as several regions see positivity rates rise.

'We don't know' when vaccine will be available

Vaccines in trials have caused both controversy and hope for getting the virus under control, but Fauci said one might not be available until January or later.

"We want to see good enough safety data and even prolonged efficacy data," Fauci said during the Q&A. "Could be January, could be later. We don't know."

Dozens of companies are working on a vaccine and five of them are now in Phase 3 trials, he said. Officials have already been discussing how to distribute one if it were to be approved.

Leaving distribution up to the states could lead to confusion and chaos, a former Health and Human Services secretary said Wednesday.

"The state-by-state approach is, you know, to put a fine point on it, is pretty nuts as far as I'm concerned," former HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius said during a live panel from the Aspen Institute.

"It leaves a ... high possibility of very inequitable distribution and kind of chaotic transportation to get to sites where you vaccinate," said Sebelius, who served under President Barack Obama.

CNN's Maggie Fox, Andrea Diaz, Jacqueline Howard, Gisela Crespo, Rebekah Riess, Raja Razek, Shelby Lin Erdman and Nadia Kounang contributed to this report.


Subscribe to stay connected to Tucson. A subscription helps you access more of the local stories that keep you connected to the community.

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

The U.S. outbreak seems to have peaked in August. But experts worry there's a growing blind spot about how the virus may be spreading among men with sexual contact. They say it may never be eliminated.

This year’s Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine has been awarded to Swedish scientist Svante Paabo for his discoveries on human evolution. Thomas Perlmann, secretary of the Nobel Committee, announced the winner Monday at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. The medicine prize kicked off a week of Nobel Prize announcements. It continues Tuesday with the physics prize, with chemistry on Wednesday and literature on Thursday. The 2022 Nobel Peace Prize will be announced on Friday and the economics award on Oct. 10.

Loretta Lynn, the Kentucky coal miner’s daughter who became a pillar of country music, has died. Lynn's family said she died Tuesday at her home in Tennessee. She was 90. Her compositions reflected her pride in her humble background and spoke frankly of her experiences as a woman and mother in Appalachia on such hits as “Coal Miner’s Daughter," “You Ain’t Woman Enough” and “The Pill.” Her bestselling 1976 autobiography was made into a movie, with Sissy Spacek winning an Oscar for her portrayal of Lynn. Lynn wrote unfiltered songs about sex and love, cheating husbands, divorce and birth control that sometimes got her in trouble with radio programmers.

A former Tennessee state trooper has gone missing after he was sentenced for a misdemeanor assault conviction on a charge that he pulled the face mask off a protester during the COVID-19 pandemic in August 2020. Columbia Police said Monday that 54-year-old Harvey Briggs was last seen in the city on Oct. 1, the day after receiving a six-month probation sentence, and was driving a black 2015 Ford Fusion. He pleaded no contest in the case on Sept. 15. Police say, Briggs made “several concerning statements” to his family before he left, and that they haven’t heard from him since. Briggs' attorney decline to comment Tuesday.

A new report says Georgia Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker paid for an abortion for his girlfriend in 2009. Walker has vehemently opposed abortion rights and calls the accusation in The Daily Beast a “flat-out lie." The Daily Beast spoke to a woman who said Walker paid for her abortion when they were dating. The news outlet also reviewed a receipt showing her $575 payment for the procedure, along with a get-well card from Walker and her bank deposit records showing the image of a $700 personal check from Walker. Asked Monday night by Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity whether he remembered sending a $700 check, Walker says he sent people money all the time.

Valentino’s fashion show in Paris saw black cars snared for blocks dropping off battalions of celebrities who, amid the commotion, just couldn’t find the entrance. Seated VIP guests were sweatily crammed in together Sunday inside the Le Marais’ Carreau du Temple venue as the show started an hour late. Outside, screaming members of the public braved the rain for hours to glimpse their favorite stars. The fever pitch was reminiscent of the French capital's pre-pandemic fashion scene. The Valentino show explored inside-out or back-to-front themes, with one beautiful nude skin-like top with matching nude pants speckled with diaphanous plumes.

Listen now and subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | RSS Feed | Omny Studio

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Breaking News