The disease caused by the novel coronavirus has killed at least 186,000 people in the United States since February.
The average daily death toll had declined from more than 2,000 per day in April to 456 per day in early July. But as people began to resume more normal activities, new COVID-19 cases soared, and deaths soon followed.
By August the virus was killing an average of more than 1,000 people each day.
Health officials anticipated the rise in deaths because the disease had been accelerating through populous Sun Belt states such as Texas, Florida and California for weeks. In July and August, hot spots also sprung up in the Midwest and even in less populous states such as Alaska and Hawaii.
“We just have to assume the monster is everywhere,” said Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R).
Localities reported not only a surge in new cases but also large increases in hospitalizations, crowded ICUs, and a jump in the percentage of positive tests.