The country reported a record number of tests, at 8.2 million, but case growth (24 percent) far outpaced test growth (9 percent), as we explained earlier this week. That’s also true for the entire month of October: Forty-seven of the 50 states, along with the District of Columbia, have seen cases rise faster than reported tests since October 1.

These cases are translating into higher numbers of COVID-19 hospitalizations in many states in every region of the country. All but 11 states saw a rise in people hospitalized this week, the largest increases occurring in the upper Midwest and Texas. Although we are not yet close to the hospitalization peaks of almost 60,000 that we observed in the spring and summer, the average number of people hospitalized this week rose to 42,621, a very substantial increase from the lows of about 30,000 that we saw just a month ago…

It’s important to note, though, that the hardest-hit states are seeing notable increases in deaths. In Wisconsin, the state that led off this surge, deaths rose 56 percent this week and are up 270 percent since the week ending October 1. Deaths have also climbed markedly in the Dakotas to a combined 101 this week, from 11 in the week ending September 3. On a per-capita basis, that is worse than any individual week of deaths in Florida at any time in the pandemic.