This Covid Surge Is America’s Longest—and It’s Getting Longer

Date: 2020-11-11 22:36:49

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The American pandemic’s most sustained increase in Covid-19 infections appears poised to get even longer, a worrisome indicator for overworked doctors and nurses.

The nationwide uptick in cases that became noticeable around mid-September is now in its ninth week, counting from the previous low point in the seven-day average. That’s a longer run than the March-April tragedy that unfolded largely in the Northeast, and the June-July upswing that hit the Sun Belt hardest.

The new cases come as cold weather moves in, forcing many Americans indoors. The situation also has been compounded by pandemic fatigue, which makes public-health efforts such as masking and social distancing more challenging.

The latest upswing may not have initially been the most dramatic, but it started from a much higher base.

By hospitalizations, the picture is similarly grim: In this third surge, patients hospitalized with Covid-19 started increasing more than seven weeks ago, the longest streak yet.

Nationally, the U.S. reported 135,290 new Covid-19 cases Tuesday, bringing the seven-day average to a record 123,448, according to Johns Hopkins University data. There were 1,393 deaths, which put the seven-day average above 1,000 for the first time since Aug. 20.

Overall, there have been nearly 240,000 fatalities.

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