This week’s data marks a return to ambiguities we last saw in April and May. For the first time, we saw week-over-week testing numbers fall—and this decline makes drops in new COVID-19 case numbers difficult to interpret. Deaths continued their steady rise. And new complications like technical glitches and school reopenings threaten to cloud the picture even further.
This week’s data brings the first good news in several weeks: new cases of COVID-19 are declining nationally, thanks to substantial declines in reported cases by states with major outbreaks. Deaths, which lag cases, continue to rise. And hospital data is still unreliable for the second week in a row.
The rise in new cases is slowing, but so is testing growth. Hospitalization data was highly erratic this week, but what we did see is alarming. Deaths are rising three weeks behind cases, which suggests a very difficult few weeks ahead for the United States.
The US is approaching half a million new cases of COVID-19 each week. States with major outbreaks including Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas all saw record high weekly hospitalizations and deaths. Meanwhile, worsening outbreaks in many other states threaten to increase the pandemic's death toll in the coming weeks.
The South continues to be the epicenter of surges in both cases and hospitalizations. In Arizona, Florida, South Carolina, and Texas, COVID-19 deaths have begun to climb following jumps in new cases. And for the first time since April, deaths are rising nationally.
The US has broken its record for new COVID-19 cases three times in the last week. Thirteen states broke their new-case records since Sunday. In the states with the worst outbreaks, hospitalizations and deaths are rising.
The United States hit a record high for new COVID-19 cases this week. In many areas with rising case counts, testing isn’t keeping up. Meanwhile, hospitalizations in regions with big outbreaks are increasing.
As cases and hospitalizations continue to drop in the early Northeast epicenters, they are rising—in some areas quite sharply—in the South and West. We look at the numbers and at the relationship between an increase in tests and a rise in case counts.
The news this week is mixed and highly regional. In the early US epicenter of the outbreak, cases continue to drop. In the southern and western United States, cases are on the rise, as are COVID-19 hospitalizations. And as always, the lag makes the data difficult to put into context.