Midwest Sees Spike in COVID Cases

Healthcare workers walk through the Texas Medical Center during a shift change as cases of the coronavirus spike in Houston, Texas, U.S., July 8, 2020. (Callaghan O'Hare/Reuters)

Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota all reported record one-day increases in the number of new COVID-19 cases on Thursday. 

While deaths from the virus climbed to more than 180,000 on Thursday, new cases, deaths, hospitalizations and test positivity rates are all largely declining nationally, aside from a few emerging hotspots in the Midwest.

After cases rose 30 percent in North Dakota last week, the state reported a record 333 new cases on Thursday. In South Dakota, where cases rose 50 percent in that same time period, a record 623 new cases were recorded on Thursday.

The South Dakota health department said 40 cases have been traced to an annual motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota that brought together more than 365,000 people from all over the country from August 7 to 16.

After a nearly 7 percent rise in cases in Iowa last week, the state recorded 1,288 new cases on Thursday. 

Minnesota, where cases rose 4 percent last week, reported 1,154 new cases, Reuters reported. The state’s health department said 265 of those cases were the result of delayed test results from one lab, which would also continue to affect future case reports.

Health experts have cautioned that cases could spike again nationwide as schools reopen and cold weather moves gatherings indoors. Some have also expressed concern about a decision by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to change its guidance on testing to say that asymptomatic people who have been exposed to COVID-19 may not need to be tested. 

The U.S. has recorded over 5.8 million coronavirus cases, bringing its case count, and death toll, to the highest in the world. The country ranks 12th globally in number of deaths per capita, with 54 deaths per 100,000 people

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