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Health News

As U.S. COVID-19 cases break records, weekly deaths rise 3%

FILE PHOTO: Dr. Saulo Castellano labels a nasal swab sample inside a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site at the Alliant Energy Center complex, as the coronavirus disease outbreak continues in Madison, Wisconsin, U.S. October 31, 2020. REUTERS/Bing Guan

(Reuters) - The number of new COVID-19 cases in the United States hit another record high last week, rising 18% to more than 575,000, while deaths inched up 3%, according to a Reuters analysis of state and county reports.

The number of new cases reported each week has risen for four straight weeks, with the biggest increases seen in the last two weeks.

Nationally, nearly 5,800 people died of the virus in the seven days ended Nov. 1, bringing the total to over 230,000. Health experts say deaths tend to increase four to six weeks after a surge in infections.

(Open tmsnrt.rs/2WTOZDR in an external browser for state-by-state details)

Thirty-four out of 50 states have seen new cases increase for at least two weeks in a row, down from 36 the prior week. They include Florida, Ohio and Michigan — all hotly contested states for Tuesday’s U.S. presidential election. New cases rose 60% in Pennsylvania, another crucial state.

Texas reported the most new cases last week with over 45,600, followed by Illinois, which has half as many people, with over 44,500 new cases.

The United States performed 8.5 million COVID-19 tests last week, of which 6.8% came back positive for the new virus, compared with 6.3% the prior week, according to data from The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer-run effort to track the outbreak.

South Dakota led the nation with the highest positive test rate at 50%, followed by Iowa at 44% and Wyoming at 43%. A total of 17 states had a positive test rate of over 10%.

The World Health Organization considers rates above 5% concerning because it suggests there are more cases in the community that have not yet been uncovered.

Writing by Lisa Shumaker; Graphic by Chris Canipe; Editing by Tiffany Wu

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