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Only two US states report a decline of new cases and nationwide hospitalizations are increasing

Covid-19 cases are trending upwards across the US, with only two states reporting a decline of cases compared to last week. And hospitalizations across the country have also begun to rise, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.



a man in a police car parked in a parking lot: People line up in their vehicles to undergo the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) tests, distributed by the Wisconsin National Guard at the United Migrant Opportunity Services center, as cases spread in the Midwest, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S., October 2, 2020. REUTERS/Alex Wroblewski


© Alex Wroblewski/Reuters
People line up in their vehicles to undergo the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) tests, distributed by the Wisconsin National Guard at the United Migrant Opportunity Services center, as cases spread in the Midwest, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S., October 2, 2020. REUTERS/Alex Wroblewski

Wisconsin health officials reported a record-high number of 141 new patients Wednesday, days after the state saw records in new Covid-19 cases and deaths. Gov. Tony Evers announced Wednesday the state will open a field hospital in response to the surge in hospitalizations.

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“We obviously hoped this day wouldn’t come, but unfortunately, Wisconsin is in a much different and more dire place today, and our healthcare systems are being overwhelmed,” Evers said.

Other state leaders say they’re not trailing far behind.

“Our hospitalization rates are surging and beginning to place a strain on our healthcare system (especially staffing),” Utah Lt. Gov Spencer Cox wrote on Twitter Wednesday. “Sadly, we are now seeing increased fatalities. The Wisconsin announcement should be a sobering reminder as Utah isn’t far behind in infection rates.”

Other states, including Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming have all seen record-high hospitalization numbers in the past days.

The uptick in Covid-19 patients comes as the US approaches winter with a daily Covid-19 base line that experts say is far too high. For the first time since August, the nation is averaging more than 44,000 new Covid-19 cases daily, according to data from Johns Hopkins University — an average that won’t help as the country enters what health officials say will be a challenging season. More cases will mean more community spread, more hospitalizations and ultimately, more deaths, Dr. Anthony Fauci has said.

At least half of US states, scattered across the Midwest and Northeast, are reporting more new cases than the previous week, according to Johns Hopkins. Only two states — Alabama and Hawaii — report a decline of cases.

More than 211,000 Americans have lost their lives to the virus, according to Johns Hopkins. And another 150,000 could die in the next three months, according to projections from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

State leaders take new measures

Some US leaders have pushed new measures hoping to curb the spread of the virus. In Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear said the state is seeing the third major escalation of cases and his mask mandate would be renewed for another 30 days.

That announcement comes after Beshear said authorities had been instructed to step up mask enforcement.

Wisconsin also issued a new order earlier this week limiting public gatherings. And in New York, the governor announced restrictions for areas where Covid-19 clusters were occurring — including closing schools and limiting crowds at houses of worship.

Clusters

As Trump is treated for coronavirus, the press can’t lose sight of the nationwide story

A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.



a bus that is sitting on the side of a car: President Donald Trump wears a protective mask while giving a thumbs up as he is driven in a motorcade past supporters outside of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, U.S., on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020. Trump briefly left his hospital in a car to greet supporters gathered outside, after posting a video on Twitter saying he was about to make a surprise visit. Photographer: Graeme Sloan/Bloomberg via Getty Images


© Graeme Sloan/Bloomberg via Getty Images
President Donald Trump wears a protective mask while giving a thumbs up as he is driven in a motorcade past supporters outside of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, U.S., on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020. Trump briefly left his hospital in a car to greet supporters gathered outside, after posting a video on Twitter saying he was about to make a surprise visit. Photographer: Graeme Sloan/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The president’s health crisis is undoubtedly the biggest single story in the United States right now. But it should not blot out the broader coronavirus story.

Along with the cooler temperatures that drive people indoors, there are worrying trends across the US. “In many states, local and state leaders are reporting worrying milestones,” CNN’s Christina Maxouris and Jason Hanna reported over the weekend.

Wisconsin is emerging as a hotspot: The state reported 2,892 new cases on Saturday, “a record number.” In Kentucky, the governor said his state “shattered” the previous case record. In New York City, the mayor said he wanted to lock down certain hot spots in the city.

Overall, “in the past five days of reporting nationwide, there have been a total of 232,657 cases of coronavirus reported, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. That is the most cases in a five day period reported since mid-August,” per CNN’s Chuck Johnston.

The daily new-case count surpassed 50,000 on Friday. And on Saturday, there were 49,994 new cases reported nationwide, according to JHU. The virus is tightening its grip on many parts of the continental US. And the fall is just beginning, so expect that grip to get even tighter. The president’s diagnosis should be reported in that context…

>> Big picture: More than 7.3 million people have been infected nationwide, according to Johns Hopkins data. More than 209,000 people have died.

Trump said “the end of the pandemic is in sight”

That’s what he said in a pre-recorded video on Thursday for the Al Smith Dinner. Based on what we know about the timeline of his illness, he was already infected when he made the faulty claim.

In a new video, posted to Twitter on Sunday evening, Trump said “I learned a lot about Covid” by getting sick. He went on to say “I get it, and I understand it, and it’s a very interesting thing, and I’m going to be letting you know about it.” Right after he recorded that comment, he went for a ride…

The “double take”

Ana Cabrera was anchoring on CNN, interviewing James Clapper and David Gergen, when there was a surprise convoy of vehicles on the live camera shot from outside Walter Reed. Cabrera told me she did a “double take” as she saw the president waving to his supporters from his armored SUV. “Hey, you guys,” she said as she interrupted