New coronavirus infections surged by roughly 20% over the past week as cases continued to climb in every region of the country.
Why it matters: All signs indicate that the pandemic will keep getting worse throughout the winter, making it harder and harder to eventually control — even if there's a new president, and even with a vaccine.
By the numbers: Over the past seven days, the U.S. averaged about 85,000 new cases per day. That's a 20% increase from the week before, and it's the highest caseload of the entire pandemic.
- Cases rose in 35 states, held steady in 10 and declined in just five.
- The pandemic continued to get worse in almost every critical swing state as Election Day approached. The number of new infections rose over the past week by 14% in Wisconsin, 16% in Florida, 21% in Pennsylvania, 37% in Ohio and 56% in Michigan.
Testing improved over the same period. The U.S. is now conducting over 1.2 million tests per day. That's a 5% increase over the week before — hardly enough to explain the much larger surge in cases.
What we're watching: Hospitalizations are also on the rise nationwide, prompting renewed fears in some pockets of the country that local hospital capacity won't be able to handle the rising tide of the pandemic.
- Most experts believe the virus will continue to gain a bigger and bigger foothold over the winter, killing thousands of people.
What's next: Joe Biden has vowed to change America's course in the pandemic.
- But the outbreak will likely be so much worse by Inauguration Day, and politically motivated resistance to public health measures is already so deeply entrenched, that a vaccine may be the only real way to accomplish that.
Each week, Axios tracks the change in new infections in each state. We use a seven-day average to minimize the effects of day-to-day discrepancies in states’ reporting.