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Since the coronavirus pandemic started, the United States has recorded more than 7.6 million cases of COVID-19 and 213,000 deaths.

USA TODAY

A third of U.S. states are reporting higher coronavirus case counts than they’ve ever had before.

A USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data shows 16 states set records for new cases in a week. But nearly all the states are surging: 41 states had worse weeks than they did a week earlier. And an analysis of COVID Tracking Project data shows that in 36 states, a higher rate of people were testing positive than in the week before.

While the data continue to show the virus’ reach is not letting up, the head of the World Health Organization said achieving herd immunity by allowing the virus to spread is “scientifically and ethically problematic.”

“Herd immunity is achieved by protecting people from a virus, not by exposing them to it,” WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus said Monday, adding that the strategy relies on vaccination.

The quest for a vaccine, however, ran into trouble on Monday when Johnson & Johnson paused its Phase 3 clinical trial because of a participant’s unexplained illness. It’s the second of four large-scale, final-stage vaccine trials to go on hold as Trump pushes for a vaccine by Election Day on Nov. 3.

Some significant developments:

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has reported more than 7.8 million cases and 215,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins data. There have been more than 37.8 million confirmed cases around the world and 1 million deaths.

🗺️ Mapping coronavirus: Track the U.S. outbreak, state by state.

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Here’s where cases are surging in the US

A USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data shows 16 states set records for new cases in a week and 41 states had worse weeks than they did a week earlier.

On a per-person basis, cases are being led by North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Wisconsin. North Dakota doubled its case count since Sept. 6, and more people died there from coronavirus in the last month than in the rest of the pandemic.

The 16 states setting records for new cases in the latest week were Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Record numbers of deaths were reported in Kansas, North Dakota and South Dakota.

– Mike Stucka

Johnson & Johnson temporarily halts vaccine trial after unexplained illness

Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine trial has been paused due to an unexplained illness in a volunteer, meaning two of the four vaccine trials in the United States are now on hold.

The Phase 3 clinical trial was temporarily halted Monday, according to the company. It is not known if the unidentified illness is related to the vaccine, but clinical protocols require a pause