U.S. cases of the novel coronavirus topped 6 million on Sunday, with many Midwestern states reporting an increase in infections, according to a Reuters tally.Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota recently reported a record one-day increase in new cases, while Montana and Idaho have record numbers of patients currently hospitalized for COVID- 19.
Nationally, measures on new cases, deaths, hospitalizations and test positive rates are all down, but there are new hot spots in the Midwest.
Most of the new cases in Iowa are in counties that are home to the University of Iowa and Iowa State University, which hold in-person classes. Colleges and universities across the country have seen epidemics after students return to campus, forcing some to switch to online-only learning.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday said his state was sending a “SWAT team” to a New York State University (SUNY) campus in Oneonta in upstate New York. to contain a COVID-19 outbreak. Fall classes, which started last week at the college, were suspended for two weeks after more than 100 people tested positive for the virus, or about 3% of the total student and faculty population, a SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said.
“We had reports from several large groups of our students at Oneonta last week, and unfortunately due to these larger gatherings there were several students who were symptomatic of COVID,” Malatras said.
Across the Midwest, infections also rose after an annual motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, which drew more than 365,000 people from across the country from Aug. 7-16. The South Dakota Department of Health said 88 cases had been traced.
More than eight months after the start of the pandemic, the United States continues to struggle with testing. The number of people tested has decreased in recent weeks.
Many health officials and at least 33 states have rejected new COVID-19 testing guidelines released by the Trump administration last week, according to which people exposed to the virus and without symptoms may not need testing.
Public health officials believe the United States needs to test more frequently to find asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 in order to slow the spread of the disease.
While the United States has the highest number of recorded infections in the world, it ranks tenth on a per capita basis, with Brazil, Peru and Chile having higher infection rates, according to a Reuters tally.
The United States also has the most deaths in the world with nearly 183,000 and ranks 11th for per capita deaths, surpassed by Sweden, Brazil, Italy, Chile, Spain, the Kingdom -U, Belgium and Peru.