COVID-19 confirmed cases in America rose over 90,000 yesterday which is a record to 9,110,791. Many experts expected that figure could routinely move above 100,000 a day. Deaths in the U.S. rose to 229,239, up 1,004. There is a worry that the fatal case per day figure could move back above 2,000, which it topped several days in April.
The deaths by state vary widely and in some parts of the country, they are several times the national average. The hardest-hit state by far now is North Dakota. Deaths per 100,000 people stand at 1.3. By way of contrast, the numbers for the states where the rate is lowest are below .1 per 100,000.
Several states near North Dakota also have unusually high rates. Just below it on the list of deaths per 100,000, South Dakota has .9, and Montana has .8. Each of these states is among the largest by square mileage and the smallest by total population.
North Dakota ranks 16th among states in square mileage at 68,994. South Dakota’s figure is 75,989 which puts it 17th among states. Montana’s square mileage is 145,556, which ranks it 8th by the measure.
Among the three, North Dakota ranks 48th in population among the states at 762,062. South Dakota ranks 47th at 884,659. Montana ranks 44th at 1,068,778.
The population and square mileage numbers show that a sparse population is no longer a protection from the spread of COVID-19. According to the Grand Forks Herald, “North Dakota remains the national leader in multiple outbreak rankings, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reporting the most COVID-19 cases and deaths per capita in the country over the last week.”
There is a consensus about what went wrong in North Dakota. The state was never effectively shutdown to slow the spread. Social distancing rules and regulations, enforcement of mask-wearing rules were rare or did not exist. The state government took what most other states would view as inadequate action to protect its own population.
When raw totals are the primary measure, U.S. confirmed cases are concentrated in the largest states by population. Texas has 941,851. California has 928,240. In Florida, there are 800,216 cases, and New York has 507,913. New York State still leads the country in fatal cases at 33,128, primarily because of the brutal spread of the disease in March and April. Recently, both the rise of confirmed cases and fatal cases in New York State have dropped to among the lowest in the nation.
The U.S. is not the only nation in the world with confirmed case counts in the seven figures. India has 8,136,166. The coronavirus death count there stands at 121,681. Health care experts say that because of the size of the nation geographically, and its relatively primitive health care systems, more than 60 million people actually have been infected, which is about eight times the official number. The Indian Council of Medical Research puts the figure as high as 63 million.
Brazil has a confirmed case count of 5,499,875. New cases recently have risen at a rate of over 20,000 a day. Its COVID-19 deaths number is 159,104. As with India, Brazil’s figures are too low. It is nearly impossible to count cases in the nation’s interior. In the poorest parts of the largest cities, packed with impoverished people, the disease also is difficult to track.
Russia has 1,599,976 cases, and fatal cases there number 27,656. Most experts say the death count is far too low to be accurate. It may be that the government has kept counts down to make it appear it has the pandemic under control. Confirmed cases rose by 18,283 yesterday, among the highest one-day counts in Russia since the pandemic began.
France is the fifth nation to post total confirmed cases above one million. It currently has 1,331,984. Fatal cases stand at 36,565. Spain is the sixth with over one million confirmed cases. It has 1,185,678 cases and 35,878 fatal ones.
Argentina is the seventh nation to post a total of a million confirmed cases or more. The figure for the country has hit 1,143,800, and coronavirus deaths there number 30,442. The last nation with confirmed cases in Columbia at 1,053,122. It has had 30,926 fatal cases.
From North Dakota to the nation of Columbia, each location shares several things in common. Among them is that more people have contracted COVID-19 than official figures show, and in many places more people have died from the disease than have been reported.