U.S. sees highest number of new coronavirus cases in nearly two months

People wait in line to have swab samples taken for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a testing center in the Far Rockaway section of Queens, New York, October 6, 2020.

Shannon Stapleton | Reuters

The United States reported 57,420 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, the highest daily totals since mid-August, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

New cases are rising in 33 states across the South, East and Midwest. Cases continue to surge in the nation’s Great Plains region, with Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming reaching record highs for average new cases, among other states.

Coronavirus outbreaks have been on the rise in the nation’s Great Plains after they were largely concentrated first on the East Coast and then in America’s Sun Belt states. Earlier this week, North Dakota and South Dakota reported more new Covid-19 cases per capita than any other state across the nation, while Wisconsin’s outbreak showed signs of taking a “dire” turn. On Friday, the state’s hospitalizations hit record highs, according to Hopkins data.

Officials have grown increasingly concerned about rising coronavirus cases across the country as the nation enters its fall and winter seasons. Health experts have also warned that the coming flu season could further challenge the U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic.

On Thursday, White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said he’s “not comfortable” with the level of U.S. coronavirus cases, noting that it could become more difficult to deal with the virus as people increasingly move indoors during the colder months.

More than 7.6 million people in the U.S. have contracted coronavirus during the pandemic, according to Hopkins data. The virus has now killed more than 213,000 people in the U.S.

— CNBC’s Noah Higgins-Dunn contributed to this report.

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