Approximately seven months into the pandemic, positive COVID-19 cases within the United States continue to rise at an alarming rate. According to CNN, the U.S. is now averaging 45,000 positive COVID-19 tests per day. That is an 8% increase from last week and double what the country experienced in June.
Making matters worse, the COVID-19 death toll continues to rise as well. The CDC projects that the coronavirus death toll could reach as high as 233,000 by the end of October.
"This week's national ensemble forecast indicates an uncertain trend in new COVID-19 deaths reported over the next four weeks and predicts that 2,800 to 6,800 new deaths will likely be reported during the week ending October 31," the CDC states.
The COVID Tracking Project reports that 41 states saw increases in positive COVID-19 tests this week. Midwestern areas like Iowa and Wisconsin have hit record-high totals in regards to hospitalizations and positive tests over the last few weeks. As a result, the state of Wisconsin has opened up a field hospital to help assist those who have contracted the virus.
"We obviously hoped this day wouldn't come, but unfortunately, Wisconsin is in a much different and more dire place today, and our healthcare systems are being overwhelmed," Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers said.
Elsewhere in the country, states like New Jersey and New York are reporting recent spikes in positive COVID-19 tests. On Thursday, the Garden State reported 1,300 new cases, the highest since May.
"To say this virus isn't still with us, to say that it isn't virulent, to say that it could not take your life is completely false. Every speck of that," New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said.
Most notably, Capitol Hill has experienced a recent coronavirus outbreak. President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, Senior Adviser Stephen Miller and Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany have all tested positive for the virus. In the past ten days, more than a dozen top officials have come down with the virus.
As the country moves toward colder temperatures, there is a fear that reports of positive cases will continue to rise. Gatherings will move from outside to confined indoor spaces. Travel will increase as the holidays near.
Despite this grim reality, health officials are encouraging citizens to follow CDC guidelines and encourage others to do so as well.
Photo: Getty Images