US Records More Than 71,000 Cases on Thursday

Ralph Ellis

October 23, 2020

Editor's note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center.

New coronavirus statistics bear out experts' predictions that the coronavirus will tighten its grip on the United States in the fall and winter

The nation recorded 71,671 new coronavirus cases on Thursday — the most in a single day since July 24, when 73,107 cases were reported, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The daily high so far was 77,362 cases on July 16.

Overall, there have been 8.4 million cases in the United States and 223,000 coronavirus-related deaths — the most of any nation in the world.

CNN reported that it obtained reports from the White House coronavirus task force that show a cumulative worsening of cases across the country, with "early signs of deterioration in the Sun Belt and continued deterioration in the Midwest and across the Northern States."

Johns Hopkins said these states reported their highest daily case counts on Thursday: Colorado (1373), Indiana (2850), Montana (928), Ohio (2425), Oklahoma (1628), and Utah (1543).

Thirty-two states said their case counts were rising, with CNN reporting that 12 states had their highest 7-day average of new cases: Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming.

Another worrisome trend is that the pandemic has moved from urban areas into predominately rural areas.

"The numbers have gone up exponentially and it's very concerning," said Montana's state medical officer, Greg Holzman, MD, MPH, said Thursday at a news conference, according to CNN.

"A lot of the hospitals are more stressed than they usually are at this time of [the] year and that puts more panic into us, knowing that we're now going into cold and flu season, which is the typical time of the year that hospitals see more people coming through," Holzman said.

States and cities are considering or enacting new penalties. In New Orleans, Mayor LaToya Cantrell said Thursday that the city might start fining people $500 for not wearing a mask.