Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin reported nearly 25,000 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, which equates to roughly 1,000 new cases each hour - or a new case every four seconds - in those three states alone over the previous 24 hours.
Each of the three states has set new records in their coronavirus metrics in recent days as the Midwest and the U.S. as a whole face what officials are warning could be the worst wave of the pandemic yet this winter.
Illinois reported 12,657 new confirmed and probable coronavirus cases on Wednesday, setting a record for the highest single-day report of new cases for the second consecutive day and lifting the statewide total number of cases to 523,840 since the pandemic began. Wednesday marked the sixth day in a row that Illinois has seen more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases each day.
The state also reported 145 additional deaths Wednesday, the highest-one day loss since May 27, bringing the death toll to 10,434.
The record case report brought Illinois' rolling average daily new case count to its highest ever at 12,326, and the state's seven-day total new case count to its highest ever as well, with 86,284 new coronavirus cases reported in the last week alone. That figure keeps Illinois at the highest in the nation in terms of new weekly coronavirus diagnoses.
The state's positivity rate continues to climb as well, sitting at 13.6% after climbing half a percentage point overnight. One week prior, the statewide positivity rate was 10.1% and two weeks ago, the rate was 8.2%.
It previously took Illinois 86 days to go from 100,000 to 200,000 cases, 51 days to see another 100,000 cases, 27 days to go from 300,000 to 400,000 cases and 11 days to go from 400,000 to surpassing half a million cases.
Indiana also posted its highest ever one-day case count on Wednesday, reporting 5,156 new cases to set a new record for the second time in five days. With an additional 31 deaths, Wednesday also marked the first day that the state has surpassed its previous highest average daily death toll reached when the pandemic was at its initial peak. Months ago, Indiana reached an average high of 40 deaths per day but as of Wednesday, the state is now seeing an average of 41 deaths per day due to coronavirus-related illnesses.
Indiana also continues to break its records every day for average new cases and weekly caseload. The state is now averaging 4,731 new cases each day and has added a new high of 33,120 new cases over the past seven days.
The positivity rate in Indiana also continues to rise, both statewide and in Indiana’s northwest region, which consists of the five counties closest to the Chicago area (Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton and Jasper). Statewide, the positivity rate is up to 19.9% as of Wednesday, meaning nearly one out of every five people who've been tested for the coronavirus in the past week has tested positive. In the northwest region, the rate is up to 21.9% - as high as 39% in Jasper County alone.
In all, Indiana has reported 224,374 coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, with a death toll of 4,512 lives lost in the state.
Wisconsin on Tuesday set six records: highest one-day new case count, highest one-day new death county, highest weekly total new cases, highest positivity rate ever as well as the highest rolling averages of new cases and daily deaths.
On Wednesday, Wisconsin reported 7,048 new coronavirus cases, which marked the third time in five days that the state has seen more than 7,000 cases in a single day, though that figure was just short of a new record for daily cases.
The cases reported Wednesday did extend the state's average daily new case count to a new record, reaching 5,984 new cases each day, and set a new record number of cases reported in a week at 41,889 in the last seven days.
Wisconsin also reported 62 deaths Wednesday, short of the record of 66 set on Tuesday, but continuing the state's record number of average fatalities at 43 each day. That's an increase from one month ago, when the state averaged 13 deaths per day and two months ago when the state averaged six deaths per day.
The state's positivity rate ticked down Wednesday by one-tenth of a percent, from a record 36% to 35.9%, marking the first time the rate has gone down in more than a month.
Wednesday's metrics lifted the state's total number of coronavirus cases to 285,891 and the death toll to 2,457 since the pandemic began.