U.S. Reports Highest Number of New Daily Coronavirus Infections Since August

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As coronavirus infections continue to trend upwards, the U.S. is now reporting its highest amount of new daily cases in almost two months.

On Friday, at least 58,539 new cases were reported, marking the fourth consecutive day new cases in the country have topped 50,000, according to The New York Times’ database. Over the past week, there has been a nationwide average of 47,782 cases per day, a 12 percent increase from two weeks earlier.

The record for most reported cases in a single day was set on Aug. 14, when there were 64,601 new cases, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Only two states —Maine and Nebraska — are reporting a decline in cases, CNN reported.

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Wisconsin is one of several states that has continued to experience record-breaking increases. As of Thursday, the state surpassed 3,000 daily cases for the first time, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

“We’re in a crisis right now and need to immediately change our behavior to save lives,” Gov. Tony Evers said while announcing new restrictions on public gatherings this week, according to WDIO.

“This virus can affect anyone, whether you’re President of the United States, a worker, a student, a service industry worker, a small business owner, retiree, or an elected official,” Evers added. “We need everyone together to take precautions to keep our neighbors and community safe.”

Speaking to the continued surge of new cases in Utah, health officials also issued a grave warning.

“Even though this surge was college driven, as predicted it has spread to older people,” Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox wrote on Twitter. “Our hospitalization rates are surging and beginning to place a strain on our healthcare system (especially staffing). And, sadly, we are now seeing increased fatalities. The Wisconsin announcement should be a sobering reminder as Utah isn’t far behind in infection rates.”

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Amid a surge in cases all over the country, a new forecast from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts that the COVID-19 death toll could hit 233,000 by the end of the month.

“This week’s national ensemble forecast indicates an uncertain trend in new COVID-19 deaths reported over the next four weeks and predicts that 2,800 to 6,800 new deaths will likely be reported during the week ending October 31,” the CDC said on its website.

In October, so far there has been an average of 700 deaths per day, according to The New York Times’ database.

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While health experts have stressed for months that the coronavirus pandemic could worsen as flu season approaches, this week, White House Coronavirus Task Force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx emphasized the importance of staying vigilant during the holiday season.

“It’s important for all of us to not let our guard down during Thanksgiving,” she told reporters during a trip to Massachusetts on Friday, according to USA Today.

As she warned about a rising upward trend in cases throughout the northeast, she encouraged people to “bring that same discipline that you’re bringing to the public spaces into your households” and “really limit engagement with others outside your immediate household.”

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

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