The news of President Donald Trump and members of his inner circle testing positive for COVID-19 has sent shock waves across the country, but it’s not just the White House dealing with an onslaught of cases: Friday’s nationwide case count was the highest daily total in nearly two months, while the weekly average of cases reported has seen an increase.
There were more than 54,000 positive cases of the coronavirus reported on Friday, the highest single-day case count since Aug. 14, when the country recorded just over 64,000 cases, per Johns Hopkins University data.
The country’s daily cases peaked on July 16, when 77,362 positive tests were reported.
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The seven-day rolling average for daily U.S. case counts has risen in recent weeks as well. The moving average has held above 42,000 in recent days, the highest mark since late August, according to COVID Tracking Project data.
Meanwhile, deaths have held relatively steady in recent weeks, as the weekly average is down a bit from a flare-up in late July and early August. Still, 906 Americans were announced dead from COVID-19 on Friday.
Keep up with the latest data in your state: Tracking coronavirus in the US
A USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data through late Saturday shows six states – Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky, Montana, Wisconsin and Wyoming – set records for new cases in a week while two states – South Dakota and Wisconsin – had a record number of deaths in a week.
The spike in Wisconsin has been particularly sharp.
The state, which did not report a weekly average of more than 1,000 cases per day until September, has been routinely reporting more than 2,000 since Sept. 17. Deaths have started to tick up as well – the state reported its highest single-day number, 27, this week.
New York state, once a hot spot for the virus, has experienced a jump in cases as well. After daily case counts held steady in the state for much of the summer, New York is holding its highest seven-day rolling average since early June, per COVID Tracking Project data.
The overall national COVID-19 “positivity rate” in the U.S. has hovered around 5% since the middle of September, according to John Hopkins. At the beginning of August, it was 8%. A “positivity rate” is the percentage of all coronavirus tests that are positive and it is a useful indicator of whether testing is keeping up with infections.
If the number is too high it could mean that health authorities are disproportionately testing sicker patients or missing milder or asymptomatic cases. A low figure