The task force reports said the cooler weather is a major factor in the increase as friends and families move gatherings indoors. It urged states to intensify efforts to encourage mask wearing, social distancing and avoiding crowds in public spaces.
U.S. hospitalizations are soaring, a metric not affected by the amount of testing done. Thirteen states, mainly in the Midwest and West, reported a record number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients on Wednesday, according to a Reuters analysis.
Wisconsin, a hotly contested battleground in next week’s U.S. presidential election, is one of 36 states where coronavirus hospitalizations are rising by at least 10% compared with the previous week.
Michigan, another election battleground state, logged a one-day record of over 3,500 new cases.
President Donald Trump, a Republican, is battling for re-election on Tuesday against Democratic challenger Joe Biden. He and his fellow Democrats in Congress have excoriated Trump for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump pushed to reopen the U.S. economy, sometimes against the advice of his own government health experts, while many of his supporters in Michigan and elsewhere protested lockdown and mitigation efforts.
Illinois reported over 6,000 new cases on Wednesday, the biggest increase of any state in the country and topping the 5,700 new cases in the much more populous state of Texas and 4,200 new cases in California, according to a Reuters tally of state and county reports. (Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Lisa Shumaker; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)