New coronavirus infections jumped by 40% over the past week. The U.S. is now averaging roughly 119,000 new cases per day — by far the highest daily average of any point in the pandemic.
The big picture: The U.S. has never controlled the coronavirus and isn't about to start.
Details: Cases rose over the past week in 45 states, and held steady in the other five. Not a single state saw an improvement.
- The number of people who are sick enough that they need to be hospitalized is also higher than it’s ever been, and still climbing. Nearly 62,000 Americans are in the hospital for coronavirus infections.
Testing is up, too. The U.S. is now conducting just under 1.4 million tests per day, up 11% from the week before.
- The problem is that we have more cases for those tests to find. Cases were up nearly 40% this week — far more than the increase in testing.
What's next: Experts have long believed that winter would be a dangerous time — not because temperature makes much of a biological difference for the virus, but because it spreads more easily indoors.
- More indoor socializing, and holiday travel, will likely cause cases to keep rising.
- Infections are also spreading widely in places where it's still warm, and the last big spike in cases happened over the summer. Winter is not our only problem — it just exacerbates our failure to stop the virus' spread.
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.