New U.S. Coronavirus Cases Rise Slightly

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New coronavirus cases in the U.S. edged up slightly to more than 42,000, as some states moved to extend pandemic-related restrictions and others progressed with reopening plans.

New cases have grown in 34 states at a faster clip over the past week compared with the previous week, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University. In six of those states—Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maryland, Vermont, West Virginia and Kansas—the difference between the 7-day average and 14-day average of new cases was 10 or fewer. The one-week and two-week averages help smooth out anomalies in the data, including lags in reporting.

VIRUS TODAY

  • New cases in U.S. up slightly
  • 946 deaths reported in U.S. Thursday, though daily average of fatalities is trending down
  • In Russia, daily cases hit highest level since June 12

Some summer hot spots, California, Florida and Texas, weren’t included in that trend, though those three states accounted for more than 25% of the total number of new cases reported nationally Thursday.

But the data shows infections have been bubbling up in other parts of the U.S. The total number of reported cases increased week over week by 10% or more in states including Wyoming, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Montana and Alaska, as well as Puerto Rico.

Since the start of the pandemic, more than 7.2 million cases have been recorded across the U.S., accounting for more than a fifth of the global tally, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins. The nation’s death toll surpassed 207,000. More than a million people have died from Covid-19 world-wide.

Testing: The U.S. this week recorded more than one million coronavirus tests in a day for the fourth time since the pandemic began, according to data from the Covid Tracking Project. The seven-day average of tests across the U.S. showed that screenings dipped in early September, but have been rising since just after Labor Day. The expansion of testing across the U.S. has helped detect more mild or asymptomatic cases of the virus, which experts say is important in helping to curtail the spread.

Nationally, the share of those tests that have been positive, known as the positivity rate, has been trending just under 5%, according to a seven-day moving average calculated by Johns Hopkins. In 28 states and Puerto Rico, the positivity rate is above the 5% threshold considered a benchmark for safe reopening.

Daily reported Covid-19 deaths in the U.S.

Notes: For all 50 states and D.C., U.S. territories and cruises. Last updated

Source: Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering

Daily reported Covid-19 cases in the U.S.

Note: For all 50 states and D.C., U.S. territories and cruises. Last updated

Source: Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering

Reopening: New York City high schools and middle schools opened for in-person classes Thursday, the last of three reopening phases for the nation’s largest school district. Elementary school students returned to classrooms Tuesday. Meanwhile, on Wednesday, restaurants in the city reopened for indoor dining with a state-mandated 25% capacity limit.

These long anticipated reopening procedures in the hard-hit city come amid increases of new coronavirus cases in several New York City neighborhoods. Officials have expressed concern that hot spots in Brooklyn and Queens could lead to wider community spread.

Mayor Bill de Blasio encouraged residents to get tested. The Democratic mayor and other city officials said compliance with safety procedures has increased over the last few days.

“Go get tested,” Mr. de Blasio said during a press conference Thursday. “It will help us understand exactly what’s going on and how to address it.”

In North Carolina, though the daily average of new confirmed cases rose to more than 1,900 over the past week, Gov. Roy Cooper said the state would move to Phase 3 of its reopening plan on Friday, allowing bars to open outdoor seating and movie theaters, amusement parks and meeting areas to reopen, all at reduced capacities.

Restrictions: In Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, on Wednesday extended social-distancing measures in the state until Oct. 15, keeping a ban on public gatherings of more than 50 people. Georgia reported more than 1,700 new cases for Wednesday, lower than the peaks of more than 4,000 daily cases reached in July and August, but still higher than levels in early June.

In Alabama, Republican Gov. Kay Ivey extended until Nov. 8 rules requiring face masks to be worn in public. Ms. Ivey said the mask order that was imposed in the state on July 16 was effective.

“The reason we’re extending this order until after the election on Nov. 3 is because it’s important to have a safe environment for poll workers & citizens to vote in-person,” she wrote on Twitter.

California: The devastating wildfires in California’s wine country have dealt another blow to farmworkers who have already struggled amid the coronavirus pandemic. Working with little access to benefits such as paid sick leave and health care, they also face increased competition for jobs as layoffs in restaurant and service businesses push more people into fieldwork.

Monitoring the U.S. Outbreak

Confirmed cases by state, ranked by latest full-day count

Daily confirmed cases per 100,000 residents

Note: Trend indicates whether a state had an increase or decrease in total number of cases in the past seven days compared with previous seven days. Last updated

Sources: Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering; the Lancet; Associated Press; U.S. Census

Average new daily Covid-19 cases for most recent week, per 100,000 people

Note: Last updated on . Negative values are
due to revised figures.

Sources: Johns Hopkins University (cases); Census Bureau (population)

New Jersey: A state-run nursing home for veterans in New Jersey failed to attribute nearly 40% of its likely Covid-19 deaths to the virus, according to the state’s Department of Health. The Menlo Park Veterans Memorial Home, in Edison, N.J., attributed 62 deaths to the new coronavirus on the website of the state’s veterans’ affairs agency. But a Department of Health spokeswoman, Nancy Kearney, said late Wednesday that an additional 39 people probably died from the virus at the facility during a wave of infections.

Economy: New applications for unemployment benefits in the U.S. fell slightly last week but remained between 800,000 and 900,000 for the fifth straight week, a reflection of the labor-market’s slow recovery.

World

India: The country reported 86,821 new cases, bringing its total to more than 6.3 million, according to data from the Health Ministry. The death toll rose by 1,181 to 98,678. Even as cases and fatalities rise, the federal government has decided to reopen movie theaters and amusement parks from Oct. 15, limited to 50% occupancy. The government has left it to states to decide whether schools and tutorial centers can reopen beginning later this month.

Understanding the Coronavirus

U.K.: The U.K. government widened a series of measures to contain the virus in northern England, adding Liverpool to a list of cities and regions where people are barred from mixing at home and advised to travel only when necessary.

Germany: The German government has lifted its blanket advisory against travel to all destinations outside the European Union. The country’s foreign ministry did however extend a warning against travel to parts of Belgium to the entire country, and also advised against travel to Gibraltar, Iceland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Spain: The regional government in Madrid is pushing back against the national government’s plans to impose a lockdown on the capital and surrounding area to contain the virus. Authorities announced the plan late on Wednesday, but Isabel Diaz Ayuso, the regional chief for Madrid, said she would challenge the legality of the lockdown order. Speaking on local radio, she said Madrid’s plan of quick testing and quarantines would cause less economic disruption. The city currently has around 735 cases per 100,000 people, one of the highest rates of any region in Europe.

Russia: Russia recorded 8,945 new infections Thursday, the highest since June 12, as new cases continue to spread. More than 1.18 million people have contracted the virus in Russia since the pandemic began, the fourth-highest in the world. More than 20,000 have died.

Japan: New cases topped 500 for the second day in a row as the country reported 576 infections and seven additional fatalities. On Thursday, Japan began to ease border restrictions, allowing in foreign visitors with permits to stay in the country, including business people, health workers and students. The number of arrivals is limited and people are subject to a two-week quarantine. Foreign tourists are still barred from entering Japan.

As the number of U.S. coronavirus deaths surpasses 200,000, public-health experts point to a series of missteps and miscalculations in the country’s response. Here’s a look back at how the U.S. became the center of the global pandemic. Photo Illustration: Carter McCall/WSJ

South Korea: The country reported 77 new cases, bringing total infections to 23,889. Two more people died, raising the number of coronavirus-related deaths to 415. Health officials are on guard this week as the annual Chuseok holidays get under way, when millions of South Korean usually travel to see their families. Officials have urged citizens to refrain from visiting relatives this year.

Australia: Victoria state reported 15 new cases and two deaths. New South Wales, home to Sydney, has gone six days without a locally acquired case. Two cases were reported in people quarantining at hotels in the state.

STAY INFORMED

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Write to Jennifer Calfas at Jennifer.Calfas@wsj.com and David Hall at david.hall@wsj.com

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