More than 71,000 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed Thursday, the largest daily increase since July.
A total of 856 deaths tied to the virus were reported the same day. The states with the largest spikes in cases were California, Florida, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana.
The number of active cases does not reflect the number of hospitalizations, which are lower than the all-time high of 59,940 on April 15 or a second-wave high of 59,718 on July 23. As of Thursday, hospitalizations due to COVID-19 were at 41,010.
Although some state officials have warned that the rise in cases may strain health facility infrastructure, current capacity of hospitals in every state remains overwhelmingly high. Despite this, Wisconsin recently set up a field hospital to handle the surge.
"We are thankful to have this facility available to Wisconsinites and our hospitals, but also saddened that this is where Wisconsin is at today," said Gov. Tony Evers before pleading with citizens to stay home.
Despite the governor's warnings, only 1,202 of Wisconsin's 12,103 hospital beds are currently occupied with coronavirus patients.
In other cities such as Chicago, businesses deemed "non-essential" must now close by 10 p.m. in an attempt to slow the rise in cases.
The national all-time daily high for deaths was 2,752 on May 7. Since a second-wave high of 1,519 deaths on August 12, deaths have fluctuated between a low of 225 and highs of just over 1,000 a day.
The vast majority of deaths have also been among those 55 or older. Even among the most severely impacted age group of 85 or older, COVID-19 is responsible for less than 10% of all deaths.
🔦 During Thursday's presidential debate, Biden predicted a "dark winter" ahead of America due to the virus, while President Trump said the nation is "rounding the turn."