Coronavirus cases are rising in 22 of the 50 U.S. states, according to a Reuters analysis, a worrisome trend on a Labor Day holiday weekend traditionally filled with family gatherings and parties to mark the end of summer.
As little as three weeks ago, cases were increasing in only three states, Hawaii, Illinois and South Dakota, according to an analysis comparing cases for the two-week period of Aug. 8-22 with the past two weeks.
Most of the 22 states where cases are now rising are in the less-populated parts of the Midwest and South.
On a percentage basis, South Dakota had the biggest increase over the past two weeks at 126%, reporting over 3,700 new cases. Health officials have linked some of the rise to hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists who descended on Sturgis, South Dakota, for an annual rally in August.
Cases are also rising rapidly in Iowa, with 13,600 new infections in the past two weeks, and North Dakota, with 3,600 new cases in the same period.
The increases are masked nationwide by decreasing new infections in the most populous states of California, Florida and Texas.