The United States broke its daily record for new coronavirus infections on Friday as it reported 84,218 new cases due to outbreaks in virtually every part of the country, according to a Reuters tally.
The spike in cases comes less than two weeks before the presidential election on Nov. 3 and is hitting battleground states such as Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. On Thursday, the United States reported a near-record 76,195 new cases.
The previous record was 77,299 new cases on July 16. At the time, hospitalizations for COVID-19 patients hit 47,000 and two weeks later deaths rose to an average of 1,200 per day.
Now, hospitalizations are over 41,000 and deaths average nearly 800 per day. Sixteen states had record one-day increases in new cases on Friday and 11 reported a record number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
Health experts have not pinpointed the reason for the rise but have long warned that colder temperatures driving people inside, fatigue with COVID-19 precautions and students returning to schools and colleges, could promote the spread of the virus.