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North Dakota’s Virus Outbreak Is as Bad as Florida’s in July

Bloomberg logo Bloomberg 9/29/2020 Jonathan Levin

(Bloomberg) --

Covid-19 extended its march across the Midwest on Tuesday, with the surge in North Dakota looking similar to Florida’s two months earlier. Cases were also on the rise in South Dakota and Wisconsin.

In North Dakota, the seven-day average of new cases climbed to a record 413, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. That’s about 54 daily cases per 100,000 residents. By comparison, Florida’s July 15 peak was about 55 cases per 100,000. Deaths are climbing, too, but they typically appear in the data weeks after cases.

chart, line chart, histogram: New Daily Covid-19 Cases Per 100,000 Residents © Bloomberg New Daily Covid-19 Cases Per 100,000 Residents

Many Midwestern states essentially dodged the virus earlier and are experiencing it for the first time. But notably, Utah is getting hit a second time after an initial peak in July.

Elsewhere, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, called for serious action to stop an uptick in positive tests, which appeared to be centered in Orthodox Jewish areas, where the Yom Kippur holiday was just observed. Overall, the city’s rate of positive tests eclipsed 3% for the first time in months, after being at or around 1% for most of September.

In Florida’s Miami-Dade County, the positivity rate hit the highest since Sept. 2. The increase comes after Republican Governor Ron DeSantis lifted remaining business restrictions and banned no-mask fines, essentially making local mandates impossible to enforce -- measures that probably aren’t yet reflected in the data.

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