A masked women walks on the grounds of Hudson Yards in New York City on Saturday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 31 (UPI) -- New COVID-19 cases in the United States declined to about 35,000 on Sunday -- the lowest figure in more than a week -- and the national total surpassed 6 million on Monday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Research at the university's Center for Systems Science and Engineering showed 35,300 new cases, a decline of about 12,000 from the previous day and the lowest one-day figure since Aug. 23. Officials, however, have previously noted that Sunday figures are typically lower due to some inactive reporting nationwide.
Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 6.002 million cases and 183,100 deaths in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins data.
The national death toll Sunday was less than 430, the lowest single-day total in nearly a month.
In Minnesota, the rising positivity rates in several counties are alarming the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
New cases rose by nearly 2,000 over the weekend, and Saturday saw one of the state's highest single-day totals to date.
On a visit Sunday, task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx told reporters the numbers showed a "worrisome trend" and cautioned that complacency could hamper efforts to control the virus.
"Whether it's a wedding, whether it's a funeral, whether it's a birthday party, whether it's just a Sunday afternoon dinner where we brought together our family from across the city and we're sitting in the backyard, if you don't have a mask on and someone is within six feet, virus spread can and will occur," she said.
Apart from Minnesota, other states in the Midwest like Indiana, Kentucky, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota have seen recent surges in cases -- and record deaths were recorded in Hawaii, Idaho and Oklahoma.
In Iowa, there were nearly 1,000 new cases, according to state health officials. The state averaged more than 1,100 the previous week.
Iowa's seven-day average was the highest in the nation per 100,000 residents, as measured by the Harvard Global Health Institute.
Gov. Kim Reynolds said a factor in the higher figures is that the state has begun including results from rapid-response antigen tests, which has identified more cases.
In North Dakota, health officials on Sunday raised the number of cases statewide to a record-high, almost 2,500. It has averaged nearly three dozen new cases per 100,000 residents over the past week, second only to Iowa.
Grand Forks, N.D., Mayor Brandon Bochenski has ordered bars in the city to close at 11 p.m., citing "the exponential increase" in cases among residents between the ages of 20 and 29.
"I've always been and always will be a champion for business, individual freedom and personal responsibility," Bochenski said. "However, the recent spike has gotten us to the point where limiting the opportunities for mass congregations of people in close quarters has become necessary."