Peter Wells in New York
One dozen US states reported record levels of coronavirus hospitalisations on Monday in a further reflection of the autumn resurgence of the virus that has pushed average daily cases to the highest level since the pandemic began.
There are 42,917 people currently in hospitals across the country with coronavirus, according to Covid Tracking Project data, up from 41,776 on Sunday.
That is the highest level of hospitalisations since August 19 when the summer surge in sunbelt states had begun to abate.
There were 12 states that reported a record level of coronavirus patients on Monday, the highest number of states in a single day since mid-July, according to Financial Times analysis of Covid Tracking Project data.
Five of these — including election battleground states of Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin — are in the Midwest, while four — Idaho, Montana, New Mexico and Wyoming — are in the “Mountain” sub-region, reflecting the broadening spread of coronavirus through the interior of the US this autumn.
Collectively, states reported a further 62,315 new cases, according to Covid Tracking Project data, a five-day low. That was down from nearly 65,700 on Sunday and compared with 57,148 on Monday last week.
Thanks in part to back-to-back days of more than 83,000 cases — the two biggest daily increases in coronavirus infections since the start of the pandemic — the seven-day average of new cases is now at a record of just over 69,800 a day.
As of Monday, half of all US states have reported a record seven-day average of new cases on any day during the past week, according to FT analysis of Covid Tracking Project data. That is the highest proportion of states in three months, when the pandemic was hitting sunbelt states hardest.
On Monday, Illinois (4,729), Texas (4,700 including new and historical cases) and Michigan (4,057, but catching up for no data reported on Sunday) reported the largest single-day increases among states.
Only Kansas (2,446 and reporting only once every few days) and Wyoming (423) reported single-day records for new cases.
California reported 2,981 new cases and became the first state to confirm 900,000 infections overall since the start of the pandemic.
Authorities attributed a further 389 deaths to coronavirus, up from 377 on Sunday and compared with 456 on Monday last week.
The seven-day average of fatalities is now about 806 a day — lower than the 1,000-plus a day rates during the height of the summer outbreak, but now around the highest level in about five weeks.