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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Editor's note: This graphic was corrected to reflect Pennsylvania's cases increased 5% (not 32%); Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise, Danielle Alberti/Axios

The coronavirus pandemic is getting dramatically worse in almost every corner of the U.S.

The big picture: The U.S. today is getting closer to the worst-case scenario envisioned in the spring — a nationwide crisis, made worse by a vacuum of political leadership, threatening to overwhelm hospitals and spread out of control.

  • Nationwide, cases are up 30% compared to the beginning of this month, and dramatically worsening outbreaks in several states are beginning to strain hospital capacity — the same concern that prompted the nationwide lockdown in the first place.
  • This is the grimmest map in the eight weeks since Axios began tracking the change in new cases in every state.

By the numbers: Over half the country — 26 states — have seen their coronavirus caseloads increase over the past week.

  • New cases are up 77% in Arizona, 75% in Michigan, 70% in Texas and 66% in Florida.
  • California, which has seen steady increases for weeks, recorded a 47% jump in new infections over the past week.
  • These steep increases come after weeks of steadily climbing cases or back-and-forth results across the South, Midwest and West Coast. Only the New York region and parts of New England — the earliest hotspots — have consistently managed to get their caseloads down throughout May and June.

Increased testing does not explain away these numbers. Other data points make clear that we’re seeing a worsening outbreak, not simply getting better data.

  • Seven states, including Arizona, have set records for the number of people hospitalized with coronavirus, and the percentage of all tests that come back positive is also increasing.
  • The whole point of the national lockdown was to buy time to improve testing and give infection levels a chance to level off without overwhelming hospitals. That worked in New York, but as other parts of the country begin to see their outbreaks intensify later, the same risks are back at the forefront.

Between the lines: Axios uses a rolling seven-day average to minimize the effects of any abnormalities in how and when new cases are reported.

What’s next: Younger people are making up a greater share of all cases, and tend to be less susceptible to serious injury or death, so hopefully this spike in new cases won’t be followed by an equivalent spike in deaths.

  • But it’s too early to say that for sure.

Editor's note: This graphic was corrected to reflect Pennsylvania's cases increased 5% (not 32%).

Go deeper

Updated Nov 29, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: McConnell temporarily halts in-person lunches for GOP caucusColorado Governor and partner test positive.
  3. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in DecemberAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  4. Education: U.S. public school enrollment drops as pandemic persists.
  5. Cities: Surge in cases forces San Francisco to impose curfew — Los Angeles County issues stay-at-home order, limits gatherings.
  6. Sports: NFL bans in-person team activities Monday as crisis engulfs league, Tuesday due to COVID-19 surge — NBA announces new coronavirus protocols.
  7. World: London police arrest more than 150 during anti-lockdown protests — Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.

Axios-Ipsos poll: Trump's COVID hasn't shaken America's views

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note: ±5.1% margin of error; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Some Americans say they're more likely to wear masks or social distance in the aftermath of President Trump's coronavirus diagnosis, but there's no evidence in any big shift in attitudes toward Trump himself, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Between the lines: The early polling numbers, taken right after the news broke that Trump had tested positive, suggest that the public's attitudes toward Trump are so deeply settled that even the shock of an event like this can't shake them.

N.J. governor: Health officials have contacted 184 people from Trump fundraiser

President Trump meets with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy in the Oval Office of the White House on April 30.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) blasted President Trump and his staff on Monday, saying they "acted recklessly" by attending last week's fundraiser event in Bedminster after learning they had been exposed to the coronavirus.

Driving the news: The Republican National Committee sent New Jersey health officials a list on Friday of at least 206 people who may have been exposed to the coronavirus at the fundraiser, which Trump attended after learning that his close aide Hope Hicks had tested positive. Murphy said on Monday that state health officials had contacted 184 of the 206 people.

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