Washington [US], November 4 (ANI): In a first, scores of mask-clad voters flock to the polling stations as the US Presidential elections commenced on Tuesday amid the rapidly escalating COVID-19 pandemic, which might just be the most significant challenges to be faced by the winner of the presidential race.
One of the most alarming periods of the virus has arrived just as voters pick a president, with more than 93,000 cases being announced across the country on Monday, the second-highest since the inception of the pandemic, reported New York Times.
Over 20 states have set weekly case records, and more than 40 states are seeing a pattern of growing known infections. On Tuesday, hospitalisations in the United States topped 50,000 for the first time since August 7.
With Monday's tally, the weekly average of new cases in the US has reached its highest point as of now, with more than 85,000 cases in a day. More than 598,000 total cases were reported in the seven days ending Monday in a nation seeing nearly eight per cent unemployment and mourning the virus-related deaths of more than 231,000 people.
According to the New York Times, four out of five Americans say they feel nervous about the country's future.
The situation is especially grim in the political battleground of Wisconsin, where more than 100,000 cases have been identified in the last month and where the rapid increase in cases has shown no signs of slowing. Deaths and hospitalisations in Wisconsin have also spiked, and many people fear that there could be worse news ahead.
Meanwhile, Michigan, a key target for both presidential campaigns, has averaged more than 3,500 cases a day over the last week. On Tuesday, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Minnesota set their own new daily case records, while Iowa and Nebraska have also been reporting cases near their highest levels yet.
"We are at a record number of hospitalizations -- 613 -- and that means we need people to pay special attention to washing their hands often, wearing a mask, keeping that six feet of distance," Gov. Pete Ricketts of Nebraska said on Monday.
According to the latest data by Johns Hopkins University, the overall tally of COVID-19 cases in the US stands at 9,371,389, with a death toll of 232,447 people. (ANI)