The number of tests coming back positive for COVID-19 is exceeding 25% in several states in the U.S. Midwest as cases and hospitalizations also surge in the region, according to a Reuters analysis.
North Dakota’s positive test rate has averaged 30% over the past seven days compared with 6% the prior week. The positivity rate has risen to 26% up from 17% the previous week, according to the analysis using testing data from COVID Tracking Project.
The World Health Organization considers rates above 5% because it suggests there are more cases in the community that have not yet been revealed.
Several states like as New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine have positive test rates of less than 1%. At the same time that positive test rates are rising in the Midwest, cases are setting records in those states.
In the past week, seven states in the Midwest and western region have reported record one-day rises in new infections – Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Wisconsin set records for new cases reporting more new infections every day than Florida. South Dakota set records for cases 3x last week.
While a recent increase in testing which explains some of the increase in cases have also rushed in the Midwest.
Wisconsin’s hospitalizations set new records in a row last week rising to 574 from 362 a week ago. South Dakota’s hospitalizations have set records six of the last seven days, rising to 216 on Sunday from 170 seven days earlier. Wyoming and North Dakota also had record numbers of COVID-19 patients in their hospitals last week.
All Midwest states except Ohio reported more cases in the past four weeks as compared with the prior four weeks, according to the Reuters analysis.
The United States is reporting 46,000 new infections on average every day compared with 40,000 a week ago and 35,000 two weeks ago.
Deaths have generally been trending downward in the United States for about six weeks. Deaths are decreasing and can take several weeks to rise after an increase in cases.