United States hits second daily high of new infections

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Oct. 31 (UPI) -- The United States has again broken its record of new daily COVID-19 cases with surges in Washington State and New Mexico.

The country reported 99,321 new COVID-19 cases for Friday, marking the second consecutive day it has seen the highest new daily count since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins University.

On Thursday, the United States reported 88,521 new cases.

The number of new cases Friday along with 1,030 new deaths, has brought the country's total number of cases to over 9 million and deaths to over 229,000.

Washington saw its highest number of new cases in single day since July.

The state's department of health on Friday reported 1,047 new cases.

"In today's numbers, we see more evidence that the surge isn't coming -- it's here," the department said in a statement Friday.

Since the pandemic began, the state has reported 111,893 cases and 2,468 deaths, according to The New York Times database.

"We are also concerned about the risk of overwhelming our hospital systems when we see spikes like this," State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy said. "Our hospitals do not have unlimited capacity."

New Mexico has also had a surge in cases since its single-day record of 449 cases on July 27.

On Friday, the state reported more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases for the second day in a row.

In Missouri, hospitalizations continue to rise, the state's COVID-19 dashboard shows.

According to the dashboard, as of Wednesday, remaining total bed capacity was 40% with 1,574 hospitalizations. There were 464 in the intensive care unit with 32% remaining capacity. On Friday, there were 1,629 COVID-19 hospitalizations compared to a seven-day average of 1,536.

Missouri has reported 189,501 cases and 3,087 deaths, The New York Times database shows.

San Francisco halted reopening plans for some businesses and activities due to a recent uptick in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, Mayor London Breed said in a briefing Friday.

"We are starting to see a slight uptick in the number of hospitalizations, which puts us in a situation where things could possibly get worse than what they are," Breed said. "As a result of some changes that we've seen in the numbers, what we will have to do as a result is put a pause on some our reopening efforts that we have planned for next week."

The pause on reopening means that indoor businesses will remain at 25% capacity instead of expanding the capacity to 50%, Breed said.

In Wisconsin, Dr. Paul Casey, an emergency department medical director at Bellin Hospital in Green Bay, said it was "mind-boggling" that President Donald Trump was holding a rally in the city Friday as cases surged across the state.

"Anytime we see a mass gathering of any kind, whether it be a wedding, a funeral, a large gathering in a bar, it is very, very concerning," Casey said. "And it's particularly mind-boggling when we have leadership setting a bad example."

Casey said that there is an entire ward in the hospital set aside for COVID-19 patients.

"We're seeing a steady stream of patients needing to be admitted to the hospital," he said. "So far, we've been able to keep up, but that is more than likely going to change fairly quickly."

Casey added nurses working 12-hour shifts are exhausted.

"It's also extremely hard to see patients without family members in the last days of their life, having to comfort them," Casey said. "It takes a human toll on nursing staff."

Wisconsin is among the Top 10 states with the highest cases per 100,000 people, The New York Times database shows.

North Dakota and South Dakota have the highest number at 5,575 cases per 100,000 and 5,037 cases per 100,000, respectively, followed by Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, which each have over 4,000 cases per 100,000, and then Wisconsin, which has 3,986 cases per 100,00 people. Alabama, Tennessee, Florida and Arkansas are also in the Top 10, each with over 3,500 cases per 100,000.

Maine, which has 496 cases per 100,000 people, reported its highest number of new cases on Thursday, making it the 30th U.S. state to do so in October.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced 1,941 new COVID-19 cases statewide Friday, which was the second-highest reported in a single day.

The state has reported 108,002 cases and 1,545 deaths from the pandemic.

New York City showed the opposite trend Friday.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the daily COVID-19 case count was down to 514 Friday from 532 reported the previous day.

New hospital admissions were also down from 81 new admissions Thursday to 68 Friday, according to de Blasio.

Though cases have been trending down heading into Halloween, the mayor warned against indoor gatherings and urged New Yorkers to wear masks, stay in small groups and socially distance.

New York has reported 510,171 cases and the most deaths per state across the country at 33,143 deaths. The rate of deaths is 170 per 100,000 in New York. New Jersey, which has 16,339 deaths from COVID-19, has the highest rate of deaths at 184 per 100,000.

Earlier this week Florida, which has 16,719 deaths from COVID-19, became the third state behind California and Texas to surpass 800,000 COVID-19 infections, Johns Hopkins data shows.

Texas has 946,504 cases and California has 931,905 cases, The New York Times database shows.

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