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Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Note: After a database error, Missouri has not reported cases since Oct. 10; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

Coronavirus infections jumped by almost 17% over the past week as the number of new cases increased in 38 states and Washington, D.C.

Why it matters: The U.S. is headed solidly in the wrong direction — and at a dangerous time, as experts say the fall and winter will likely make the pandemic worse. They had hoped we could get cases under control before then, but that seems unrealistic.

By the numbers: The U.S. racked up an average of up 51,000 new cases per day over the past week.

  • The number of new infections rose in 38 states, spanning every region of the country.
  • Three states — Montana, New Mexico and South Dakota — saw their case counts rise by over 50%.
  • The pace of new infections slowed down in only one state: Texas.

Testing also increased over the past week.

  • The U.S. is now conducting roughly 1 million tests per day, up about 6% from the week before.
  • But the increase in cases is bigger than the increase in testing, which is a sign of an actual worsening outbreak.

The big picture: The U.S. has consistently failed to control the virus, and we are failing to control it now.

  • Experts say the fall and winter will likely make things worse, as colder weather causes people to move their socializing indoors, where the virus can spread more easily. If those assumptions bear out, those increases will come on top of a caseload that's already too high.

How it works: 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.

Go deeper

Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategy

Biden signs executive orders on Jan. 21. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

"It's gonna get worse before it gets better": President Biden expects 100,000 Americans to die from COVID-19 during his first six weeks in office.

The big picture: Biden said he's putting America on a wartime footing against the virus, signing 10 executive orders today alone.

14 hours ago - Health

Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as coronavirus cases surge

Hong Kong health workers patrol a street where COVID-19 cases have been confirmed. Photo: Anthony Kwan via Getty Images

Hong Kong will place tens of thousands of residents on lockdown to curtail outbreaks in neighborhoods with aging, subdivided flats, the government announced Thursday.

Why it matters: It’s the first time Hong Kong has imposed a lockdown since the pandemic began. The restrictions will begin Saturday and last for at least two weeks.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
24 hours ago - Health

Fighting COVID-19's effects on gender equality

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Women around the world have borne a disproportionate brunt of the social and economic effects of COVID-19.

Why it matters: Women in the U.S. and around the world already faced an unequal playing field before the pandemic. As countries prepare for the post-COVID-19 world, they need to take special care to ensure the virus doesn't permanently set back the cause of gender equality.