Only 25 ICU beds open in North Dakota; US sees most new COVID-19 cases in 1 week — 6 updates

The U.S. reported more than 481,000 new COVID-19 cases last week — the most new infections seen during a seven-day stretch of the pandemic, reports USA Today.

Nineteen states have reported more cases in the past seven days than any other week, with Alaska setting its third consecutive day of a record case increase Oct. 26, according to The New York Times' Coronavirus Briefing newsletter

Five states — Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming — have also seen a record number of deaths over the past week, according to USA Today. 

Five more updates:

1. COVID-19 hospitalizations are up in 41 states compared to the end of September, according to The Washington Post. Of those states, 22 have seen this figure jump by 50 percent or more. Rising hospitalizations have been hitting rural areas especially hard. As of Oct. 26, North Dakota only had 25 intensive care unit beds staffed and available in the whole state. Nationwide, about 42,000 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Oct. 26. 

2. Texas has been neck and neck with California as the state with the most cumulative COVID-19 cases, reports NBC News. As of 8:30 a.m. Oct. 27, California had 913,699 cases and Texas had 916,562, according to data from The New York Times. 

3. COVID-19 surges are worsening healthcare employee shortages in the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains regions, as employers are left with few alternatives to replace workers who fall ill or need to quarantine, reports Kaiser Health News. For example, staffing shortages in Montana forced Kalispell Regional Medical Center to stop quarantining employees who were exposed to the virus but remain asymptomatic, per CDC guidelines for facilities facing workforce issues.

4. COVID-19 cases in Arizona dropped by 75 percent a month after masks mandates and other safety regulations were implemented, according to CDC data. Researchers examined daily COVID-19 data and seven-day moving averages in Arizona from Jan. 22-Aug. 7. On June 17, local officials began implementing and enforcing masks mandates affecting about 85 percent of the state, while also closing some bars and gyms. COVID-19 cases peaked June 29-July 2 and declined by about 75 percent July 13-Aug. 7. 

5. Eli Lilly's antibody treatment is ineffective for patients with advanced COVID-19, according to an Oct. 26 company statement. The drugmaker's trial of hospitalized patients, run by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was paused two weeks ago due to a "potential safety concern." The trial will not administer the drug to new participants, though other trials of the treatment in people who are not as seriously sick are set to continue. 

Snapshot of COVID-19 in the U.S.

Cases: 8,705,340
Deaths: 225,739
Recovered: 3,460,455

Counts reflect data available as of 8:30 a.m. CDT Oct. 27.

More articles on public health:
25 states where COVID-19 is spreading fastest, slowest: Oct. 27
COVID-19 hospitalizations by state: Oct. 27
COVID-19 hospitalizations up 40% from September; Texas plans field hospital, Utah discusses care rationing — 5 updates

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