• According to the latest coronavirus update from Johns Hopkins University, the COVID-19 crisis just hit a terrible milestone — there have now been more than 6 million confirmed cases of the virus in the US.
  • Meanwhile, the worst of the coronavirus pandemic seems to be moving into new states now, while the past few months have seen states like New York, California, and Florida among the hardest-hit.
  • North Dakota is currently showing a per-capita spike in coronavirus cases that may be the worst in the nation at the moment.

During a coronavirus update over the weekend, White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx reiterated to reporters her hopefulness that a COVID-19 vaccine will be coming soon while also urging Americans to wear face masks and continue to “do the right thing” now. That’s so that coronavirus numbers will keep falling ahead of this fall, when public health officials like Birx are especially worried about a perfect storm of a health crisis — when both the flu and coronavirus, twin viruses that present with similar symptoms, will be raging in full force simultaneously. “I’m also very convinced right now that we can stop community spread (of coronavirus) by wearing masks, socially distancing and avoiding crowds,” Birx told reporters.

Meanwhile, the latest numbers from Johns Hopkins University — which shows more than 6 million coronavirus cases in the US to date, along with more than 183,000 deaths — underscore the degree to which the coronavirus pandemic is continuing to rampage across the US. Such that we’re starting to see it reach its most critical point in states that have thus far been spared the worst of the pandemic.

Along those lines, North Dakota has hit a record in terms of the number of daily positive tests for the COVID-19 virus, with its per-capita results now among the highest in the country.

That’s according to local reports showing that as of last Thursday, 337 of 6,972 tests had come back positive. Data from The New York Times, meanwhile, shows that the state’s record week that ended August 28 means it’s currently dealing with one of and perhaps the biggest coronavirus case increase in the country right now on a per-capita basis. Additionally, cases are up 64% from two weeks ago, with the state now seeing about 214 cases per day on average.

This follows the controversial Sturgis Motorcycle Rally that was held in South Dakota in early August — and which reports have said was responsible for more than 100 coronavirus cases in nearby states, including North Dakota.

At a press conference late last week, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum said he might order a reduction of capacity in the state’s restaurants and bars.

“Be North Dakota Smart: That’s our path forward, that’s the path to freedom right now, to keeping everything open, the schools open,” Burgum said during the press conference. “Everybody being smart about not allowing yourself or others to be in a (vulnerable) position. This virus can only live when it jumps from human to human host.”

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.