COVID-19 in the United States, October

United States // 23 October, 2020

CDC is reporting at least 8.3 million cases and over 221,000 fatalities. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have recorded cases.

Status: Outbreak

More information: US CDC COVID-19 Updates; US CDC COVIDView (weekly surveillance summary of COVID-19 activity); US CDC State & Territorial Health Department Websites.

23 October: Covid-19 deaths are increasing in the US driven by sharp increases in the Midwest and some states in the West. As cases soar nationwide, hospitals in parts of some states are becoming overwhelmed. Currently a lot of outbreaks in the US are in rural areas, reaching remote counties that often lack critical health care resources. More people are falling seriously ill in these rural areas, particularly in the Midwest and Mountain West, where hospitals may have limited beds.

Pennsylvania has seen a large spike over the past 7 days. Due to the requirement of 24 hour staffing, Florida health officials are considering no longer releasing COVID-19 daily case counts. Wisconsin cases continue to surge putting hospitals under strain. In some parts of the state, hospitals are at capacity. Washington state reached 100,000 COVID-19 cases this week. Over the next 2 weeks, a 10 p.m. curfew on bars, restaurants and non-essential businesses will be imposed in Chicago as a second wave of infections hit the city.

The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday that it had formally approved remdesivir as the first drug to treat Covid-19.

22 October: COVID-19 cases are trending upwards with increases occurring in nearly every region of the country. The Midwest continues to be one of the hardest-hit areas followed by the West. Over the last week, the country has averaged about 59,000 new cases a day, the most since the beginning of August. Hospitalisations are also on the rise nationwide. Health officials have speculated the increase in cases could be due to the colder weather and more people moving indoors, including to hold smaller intimate gatherings.

Wisconsin officials appealed to residents to start changing their behavior. Michigan issued a stay-at-home order to the entire Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan. States in the Northeast are also seeing a rise in cases following a stint of low virus activity. New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut officials issued a joint statement urging residents to avoid non-essential travel between the states. In Ohio, more people are hospitalised than at any other time during the pandemic. North Dakota, which currently has the highest COVID-19 cases per capita, reported more than 1,000 cases on Tuesday, the state’s worst daily total yet.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) changed their definition of a 'close contact'. Previously defined as someone who spent at least 15 consecutive minutes within six feet of a confirmed coronavirus case, has been amended to “Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.” This new evidence was highlighted in a study published in the CDC MMWR which described a Vermont prison employee who contracted the virus during multiple brief encounters with individuals later to test positive for the virus.

Independent advisers to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will meet this week to start the assessment process for the first results of the country's experimental vaccine trials. Results could be released this month or in November.

20 October: Case numbers in the US are increasing fast as states in the Midwest and Rocky Mountains fight to control major outbreaks, and as new hotspots appear elsewhere in the country. Over 500 new COVID-19 deaths and more than 64,000 new cases were reported in the US yesterday. Over the past week, there has been an increase of over 30 percent from the average two weeks earlier.

Wisconsin has opened a field hospital and reinstated restrictions on bars, restaurants and other indoor spaces that had been temporarily suspended last week. North Dakota currently reports the most cases per capita in the country. Across the rural West, states like Alaska, Wyoming and Montana have seen case numbers mount to worrying levels. Other states reporting their highest numbers of single-day increases include Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah and West Virginia. In New Mexico, COVID-19 hospitalisations have increased by over 100% in the first half of October. COVID-19 cases in New Jersey doubled over the last month to an average of more than 900 new positive tests a day.

Under a preliminary vaccine roll out plan, New York officials proposed healthcare workers, nursing home staff and their most vulnerable residents would be first in line. Police officers, firefighters, teachers, grocery workers, transit employers and other public health workers come next.

California will have its own independent panel of experts review any federally approved coronavirus vaccines before they are administered to residents.

17 October: Over 8 million cases have been confirmed across the country, with 387,022 cases in the last seven days. Cases are surging in around half of the states, but those reporting the highest number of cases in the last week are; Texas (29,848 cases), Illinois (23,205 cases), California (22,870 cases), Wisconsin (22,596 cases) and Florida (19,049 cases). A total of 8,028,332 cases and 217,918 fatalities have been reported by the CDC.

Hawaii has announced restrictions have eased for travellers; those who can provide a negative test result from within 72hours of departure will not need to undergo 14 days quarantine upon arrival.

16 October: Around 17 states, mostly in the Midwest or in the Mountain West are seeing large surges in COVID-19 cases. States including Alaska, Minnesota, Montana and Wisconsin reported more new cases this past week than any other week since the pandemic began. New cases continue to trend upward in over 40 states during the last two weeks, while nine states are reporting steady tallies. No state in the country is seeing a sustained decline.

In the Northeast, where there has been a lull since spring, new infections have recently spiked. In the South, where COVID-19 cases spiked this summer, the status varies between states. There has been continued progress in Florida and Georgia but more concerning trends in Arkansas and Kentucky.

Other U.S updates include a Seattle man being the third person in the U.S. confirmed to have been infected twice with coronavirus and a Southern Ute Indian Tribe reports its first positive COVID-19 test.

14 October: In the past week new daily reported cases, daily deaths and COVID-related hopitalisations have risen by between 4 and 14%. The Midwest and Mountain West are pushing the case tally to its highest level since August. Hospitals in these regions are reported to be strained, including in Wisconsin, where a surge of recent cases has required the erection of a field hospital at the state fairgrounds. North Dakota and South Dakota are also reporting large spikes in new cases. Based on new cases per 100,000 population, the states currently at highest risk include North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wisconsin and Guam.

12 October: Tens of thousands of new cases are being reported daily nationwide as uncontrolled outbreaks continue to spread in the Upper Midwest and Rocky Mountains. The Northeast is also seeing some sign of resurgence. Based on new cases per 100,000 population, the states currently at highest risk include North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wisconsin and Utah. Wisconsin alone has recorded more than 50,000 new cases in the last three weeks. Other states with high daily cases include Idaho, Wyoming, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee and Oklahoma. Guam has also reported an increase in cases.

The majority of states have either paused, are proceeding with reopening or have reopened. About 17 states have new restrictions imposed. Most stay-at home orders have been lifted across the nation. A Statewide Stay-at-home order continues in California and approximately four other states have rolled back their orders to High Risk Groups only.

7 October: Over the past week, there have been an average of over 44,000 cases per day, an increase from the average 2 weeks earlier. New infections have increased in the Upper Midwest and parts of the West.

Over the past week cases are going down in Puerto Rico and remain high in Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming, Guam, Alabama, Indiana and North Carolina.

Cases are increasing in Nevada, Delaware, Rhode Island, New Mexico, Michigan, Ohio, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, New York, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont.

New York will launch a “Cluster Action Initiative” to slow growing clusters of transmission in “hot spot” areas. The initiative prohibits mass gatherings and will involve non-essential businesses in “red zones” to close, restaurants to offer takeout only and schools to close for in-person classes.

Three northeast metro areas of Wisconsin have recorded the most cases per capita last week. Hospitals in the state are becoming overwhelmed. The state has recently been reporting over 2,000 new cases a day.

The number of new coronavirus cases in Montana reached an all-time high on Tuesday with 504 cases.

President Donald Trump is reported to have no symptoms of Covid-19, the morning after he left hospital. Residential staff in the White House wore protective gear after he returned to the residence. A number of advisers and other officials stayed home. Local government officials in the D.C are reporting a surge in demand for coronavirus testing.

5 October: The total cases in the USA have reached 7,396,730. Over 300,000 of these were diagnosed in the last 7 days. Texas reported the largest number of new cases this week, reporting over 30,700 cases. Other heavily affected states this week include California (over 21,400 cases), Wisconsin (over 17,400 cases) and Florida (over (15,500 cases). Outbreaks continue to grow in the Upper Midwest, particularly in Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota and Utah.

Overall the national cumulative rate of hospitalisation with COVID-19 is 178.2 people per 100,000, with highest rates among those over 65 years (481.5 per 100,000 people). Almost 209,200 deaths have been confirmed.

President Trump has been discharged from hospital.

2 October: President Trump and the first lady have tested positive for COVID-19. He was hospitalised the same day his infection was announced.

30 September: Over the past week, there have been an average of 43,128 cases per day, an increase of approximately 13 percent from the average two weeks earlier. States in the Northeast continue to report low case numbers. Rising case numbers have been observed in the Midwest and in some Southern states.

Cases remain high in Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Cases are going down in Alabama.

Cases are increasing in Colorado, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington.

Some universities have initiated classes online, many have reopened their campuses and introduced strict behavior guidelines and/ or testing.


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