The United States is quickly closing in on an unthinkable number when the first coronavirus deaths were reported in February – the 200,000th pandemic death, NBC News figures showed on Tuesday.
There have been 190,327 reported deaths out of more than 6.3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States, according to the latest figures.
Over the past seven days, one new death from COVID-19 has been recorded every 106 seconds, according to an NBC News analysis.
The rate at which new coronavirus deaths were piling up was a bit slower than it was after the first week of August, when someone died from the coronavirus every 80 seconds over a seven-day period. And the states with the largest increases in death rates over the past four weeks were not the largest or the most populous.
West Virginia’s death rate has climbed 141%, bringing to 247 deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to the figures.
Wyoming (100%), Alaska (78%), Arkansas (52%), North Dakota (52%), Kentucky (51%), and Georgia (51%) also reported significant spikes in the percentage of deaths from COVID-19.
The U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, two territories with lower death totals, have also seen a sharp increase in the coronavirus death rate. Deaths in the Virgin Islands have increased 167% in the past four weeks, while deaths in Puerto Rico have increased by 77%.
New York continued to be the state with the most deaths with 33,842 but most of those deaths occurred in March and April when the Northeast was the country’s hotspot and scientists and officials from the health workers were still trying to find a way to control the spread of the crisis.
Most of the deaths since then have been reported in southern and Sun Belt states such as Florida, Arizona and Texas, which began reopening in May at the behest of President Donald Trump as the pandemic began to prevail in these regions. And on Friday, a research team the Trump administration was relying on for favourable pandemic forecasts warned that the death toll in the United States could more than double by January 1st.
“The worst is yet to come,” said Dr. Christopher Murray of the Institute for Health Measurement and Evaluation, University of Washington School of Medicine.