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Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise, Naema Ahmed, Danielle Alberti/Axios

The coronavirus pandemic keeps getting worse, all across the country. Thirty-three states saw their caseloads increase this week, continuing a scary nationwide trend that’s been getting worse since mid-June.

Why it matters: The U.S. is right back in the situation we were afraid of earlier this year, with a rapidly spreading outbreak, strained hospitals, and projections of more than 200,000 deaths by the end of the year.

What we’re watching: New coronavirus cases surged over the past week in places that were already heading quickly in the wrong direction.

  • That includes Arizona (a 23% jump over the past week), California (38%), Florida (25%) and Texas (28%). All of those states have experienced dramatic increases for several weeks in a row, and those cases are now threatening to overwhelm some local hospitals.
  • Deaths are also beginning to tick up in these hotspots.

Those worsening conditions across the board make clear that these numbers largely are not a product of increased testing, but rather a worsening outbreak.

  • Nationwide, testing increased by 7% over the past week. Cases rose by 24%.

Between the lines: Each week, Axios tracks the change in confirmed coronavirus cases in each state. We use a rolling seven-day average to minimize the effects of any abnormalities in how and when new cases are reported.

  • Only a tiny sliver of the Northeast — Maine, New Hampshire and Connecticut — had fewer new cases this week than the week before.
  • New York, which has seen a steady trend of improvement, held steady. New Jersey, which had been following New York’s trend, saw a 14% increase.

The bottom line: The only way to safely resume even some small semblance of pre-COVID life — whether that’s sports or schools or going out to eat — is to get the virus itself under control. And the U.S. is failing to do that.

Go deeper

Oct 16, 2020 - Health

Davidson freezes college tuition because of COVID-19

Davidson, the private college in North Carolina, will freeze tuition and fees next year in response to the coronavirus pandemic, President Carol Quillen told students via email.

Why it matters: It's the school's first freeze in 25 years. Davidson has need-blind admission and costs just over $70,000 a year (the school's average financial aid package is roughly $49,000 a year).

Oct 17, 2020 - Health

Over 1,000 current and ex-CDC officers decry the "politicization" of the agency

President Trump calls on reporters during a news conference with White House coronavirus coordinator Deborah Birx and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

More than 1,000 current and former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention epidemic intelligence officers have signed an open letter, decrying "the ominous politicization" of the agency throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The CDC is typically at the forefront of the U.S. response to public health crises, but the agency has largely been sidelined during the COVID-19 outbreak, with the White House attempting to control messaging, which, at times, contradicts scientific evidence.