More than 20 states have set records in daily reported cases of COVID-19 in recent days, prompting concern that another surge in deaths and hospitalizations linked to the virus could be on the way.
According to information from Johns Hopkins University, 22 states across the country — particularly in the Upper Midwest or Great Plains region — are seeing record increases in new COVID-19 cases. Among the states seeing the most dramatic spikes are Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.
The cases in the upper Midwest may have been fueled by the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which took place in South Dakota between Aug. 7 and Aug. 16. At least one report has estimated that the rally may have led to the infection of more than 250,000 people.
Since the day the rally began, the number of new cases in South Dakota has risen from about 90 a day to more than 700 a day, and deaths increased from about one a day to about 10 a day. It's an exponential rise that's been mirrored in North Dakota and surrounding states.
The spike in cases in the Plains and the Midwest has fueled a new surge in case counts across the country. On Friday, Johns Hopkins says that the U.S. reported more than 69,000 new COVID-19 cases — the highest single-day total since late July.
Health experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute on Allergies and Infectious Diseases have warned that colder months would bring an increase of COVID-19 cases. With Americans moving activities indoors, doctors warn that it will be easier for the virus to spread.
Across the country, more than 8 million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and more than 200,000 have died. Worldwide, 40 million people are confirmed to have contracted the virus and more than 1 million have died.
Below are the 22 states who have recorded a record number of new COVID-19 cases in a single day in the past two weeks.