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U.S. COVID-19 cases continue to surge past 125,000 a day

By Jean Lotus
U.S. COVID-19 cases continue to surge past 125,000 a day
COVID-19 rates continue to rise in the United States.  Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 7 (UPI) -- COVID-19 cases in the the United States continued to set new records for the number of active infections and deaths this week.

The number of new infections surged to 126,480 reported on Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University's COVID-19 tracker. The number of deaths reported as of Friday was 1,146, the fourth day in a row that more than 1,000 deaths have been reported.

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Overall, the United States has reported 9.7 million COVID-19 cases and 236,073 deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins.

This week, numbers of positive cases were increasing in 43 states, with Tennessee being the only state where the number of positive cases was dropping, according to Johns Hopkins.

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Twenty states reported double-digit percentages of positivity rates this week, with the highest numbers from South Dakota, which reported a 52% positive testing rate and Iowa with 43.2% positivity.

In Idaho, health staff reported Saturday that the surge of new cases were overwhelming the state's hospital capacity.

"We have to rely on everyone we don't speak with to act responsibly on their own," Doug Doney, acting director of Southwest District Health in Caldwell told the Idaho Statesman. "That means isolating while waiting for test results and, if positive, warning all of their close contacts that they need to quarantine right away."

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On Friday, Scott Gottlieb, former head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, told CNBC that U.S. health officials were probably diagnosing 20% of the actual active cases in the country.

"Remember 120,000 cases aren't 120,000 cases," Gottlieb said. "We're probably, at best, diagnosing 1 in 5 cases right now, maybe a little bit less than that, so this is at least half a million cases a day, probably more in terms of actual numbers of infection," he added.

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