(Reuters) – The number of new COVID-19 cases in the United States last week rose 24% to more than 485,000 while the number of tests performed rose 5.5%, according to a Reuters analysis of state and county reports.
Nationally, over 5,600 people died of the virus in the seven days ended Oct. 25, up 15% from the prior week. Deaths have risen for at least two weeks straight in 16 states, compared with nine states previously.
Deaths more than doubled in seven states — Connecticut, Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio and Wyoming — though they remained low compared to Texas, Florida and California, according to the Reuters analysis.
Thirty-six out of 50 states have seen cases increase for at least two weeks in a row, up from 34 the prior week. They include Florida, Ohio and Michigan — all hotly contested states for the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election. New cases doubled last week in Wisconsin, another crucial state.
The United States performed 7.7 million COVID-19 tests last week, of which 6.3% came back positive for the new virus, compared with 5.4% 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 40%, followed by Idaho at 34% and Wyoming at 29%. A total of 14 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.
Since the outbreak started, over 225,000 people in the United States have died and over 8.6 million have become infected with the novel coronavirus.
Writing by Lisa Shumaker; Graphic by Chris Canipe; Editing by Tiffany Wu