The outlook for the pandemic continues to worsen, and many areas of the United States are experiencing their worst weeks yet. The country reported a record of more than 500,000 new coronavirus cases in the past week. It’s not just a few areas driving the surge, as was the case early on. Half of U.S. counties saw new cases peak during the past month. Almost a third saw a record in the past week. In the Upper Midwest and Mountain West, records are being smashed almost daily, and in some counties as much as 5 percent of the population has tested positive for the virus to date. Some records come with an asterisk. With less widespread testing capacity in the spring, cases went undercounted then compared with now. And in some less populous places, a record number is not necessarily a very high one. Orleans County, Vt., for example, […]

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