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Virus tightens grip on US Midwest as 6 states see record daily deaths

CHICAGO: Six US states reported record daily increases in Covid-19 deaths on Wednesday, including Wisconsin, a battleground in the Nov 3 election, according to a Reuters analysis, as infections kept rising across the Midwest and beyond.

Coronavirus deaths hit daily records in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Kansas, Hawaii and Wisconsin, the analysis found. Wisconsin also reported a record daily increase in new cases, together with Illinois, Kentucky, Colorado and Ohio, the analysis showed.

The pandemic has killed about 222,000 people in the US and thrown millions out of work.

On Wednesday, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers said 48 people had died from the virus as he announced that a week-old field hospital in the Milwaukee suburbs had admitted its first patient.

"Folks, please stay home," Mr Evers said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Help us protect our communities from this highly contagious virus and avoid further strain on our hospitals."

Nationally, cases have been trending higher for five weeks, rising to 60,000 on average over the past seven days from a recent low of 35,000 a day last month.

The US has averaged 734 daily deaths over the past seven days, still well below the 2,333 average at the height of the pandemic in April.

Midwest hospitalisations climbed to 10,830 on Tuesday, hitting a record high for a fifth day in a row and raising fears that medical centres could become overwhelmed. - REUTERS

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