U.S. Sees 60,598 New COVID Cases in One Day as Third Wave Takes Hold

A third wave of the coronavirus is surging across the United States. On Tuesday alone, the U.S. reported 60,598 new cases and 929 new deaths. And as of Monday, 16 states had reported more cases in the prior week than in any other seven-day stretch since the start of the pandemic.

As of Wednesday afternoon, there have been over 8,316,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the U.S. and at least 220,900 have died, according to The New York Times database. The country is inching closer and closer to its July peak (75,687 cases), with a nationwide average of 60,160 cases per day, a 36 percent increase from the average two weeks earlier.

Throughout much of the Midwest — which saw a massive surge over the summer — and Rocky Mountain area, cases remain high and new states are rapidly becoming COVID-19 hotspots.

Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin are all reporting increasingly high rates of new infections, with healthcare workers saying that hospitals are "bursting at the seams" with new COVID patients.

North Dakota now has the most cases of coronavirus per capita in the country, according to the Times. It reported more than 1,000 cases on Tuesday, the state’s worst daily total yet.

In Kansas City, Missouri, eight hospitals had to temporarily turn away ambulances of new patients on Oct. 14 after they ran out of space, Marc Larsen, an emergency physician and director of St. Luke’s Health System’s COVID response team, told the Kansas City Star.

At 1 p.m. the next day, five hospitals in the city were still unable to admit patients unless they were having a stroke or heart attack, or suffering from a life-threatening injury.

Last week, Wisconsin health officials had to open up a field hospital at the state fairgrounds near Milwaukee to help treat the surge in COVID-19 patients in the state.

"We hoped this day wouldn’t come, but unfortunately, Wisconsin is in a much different, more dire place today and our healthcare systems are beginning to become overwhelmed by the surge of COVID-19 cases," Governor Tony Evers said in a statement. "This alternative care facility will take some of the pressure off our healthcare facilities while expanding the continuum of care for folks who have COVID-19."

Meanwhile, states like Colorado, Texas and New Mexico have become new hotspots, all reporting high and increasing levels of spread. Elsewhere — like Florida, New Jersey, Georgia and Arizona — cases may remain low but are also showing rising numbers.

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