Here’s what you need to know:
When infections began rising sharply in the U.S. in September, the growth was driven largely by outbreaks in the Upper Midwest. States like North Dakota and Wisconsin soon became the hardest hit in the nation, relative to their size, and the region continues to struggle.
Now, though, with the whole country’s daily average of new cases is as high as it has ever been — over 171,000 — the most rapid growth is happening elsewhere. Nine states are reporting more than twice as many new cases a day as they did two weeks ago, and none of them are in the Midwest.
The surges in those states — Arizona, California, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Vermont — reflect a still-escalating national crisis. Officials warn that