US posts sharpest weekly rise in COVID-19 deaths since August

Reuters

Posted at Nov 24 2020 05:38 AM

US Vice President Mike Pence stands in front of a map of the United States indicating the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) portrayed as new cases per 100,000 population as Pence leads a briefing by the White House coronavirus task force at the White House in Washington on November 19, 2020. Leah Millis, Reuters/file

The United States recorded its biggest weekly rise in COVID-19 deaths since August, increasing 32% from the previous week to average about 1,500 people per day, according to a Reuters analysis of state and county reports.

New cases rose 13% in the week ended Nov. 22, or an average of more than 168,000 per day

Ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday this Thursday, at least 23 states have announced new restrictions to try to slow the spread of the virus but so far only New Mexico has issued a stay-at-home order.

Cases rose by 90% in New Mexico last week, the biggest percentage increase in the country, followed by Virginia at 62% and Arizona with a 50% increase. (Open https://tmsnrt.rs/2WTOZDR in an external browser for state-by-state details)

In North Dakota, the hardest hit state on a per capita basis, nearly 73,400 tests have come back positive for the new coronavirus since the beginning of the outbreak. That is equivalent to 9.6% of the state's population. North Dakota mandated masks starting Nov. 14 but another 14 states still do not require them.

Across the United States, 9.8% of tests came back positive for the virus for a second week in a row, according to data from The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer-run effort to track the outbreak.

The World Health Organization considers positive test rates above 5% concerning because it suggests there are more cases in the community that have not yet been uncovered.

Out of 50 states, 26 had positive test rates above 10% last week, led by Iowa at 56%, South Dakota at 45% and Idaho at 40%. 

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