The pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of American life and fuelled record levels of early and postal voting.
The United States set a one-day record for new coronavirus cases on Wednesday with at least 102,591 new cases and as hospitals in several states reported an increasing number of patients, according to a count from the Reuters news agency.
Nine states reported record one-day increases in cases on Wednesday: Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Washington and Wisconsin.
Johns Hopkins University, which tracks the virus separately, also said the US reached a new daily record with 99,660 new cases in the past 24 hours.
The pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of American life and prompted a record number of people to vote early or use postal votes in Tuesday’s presidential election, with a winner yet to be declared.
More people are also being admitted to hospital with COVID-19 and hospitalisations topped 50,000 on Tuesday for the first time in three months. North Dakota reported only six free intensive care unit beds in the entire state on Wednesday, when it was one of 14 states that reported record numbers of COVID-19 patients in hospital.
The proportion of tests coming back positive is more than 50 percent in South Dakota, nearly 40 percent in Iowa and 36 percent in Kansas, according to Johns Hopkins.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says rates of more than 5 percent are a concern because they indicate undetected community transmission. Only 15 states in the US currently have rates below that level, the data shows.
Coronavirus deaths are also increasing, albeit more slowly than the number of cases. An average of about 850 people in the US are currently dying each day as a result of COVID-19, compared with 700 a month ago.
The Midwest has been hit the hardest in the latest wave, according to new cases per capita in recent weeks.
Illinois has reported 48,579 cases in the last seven days, more than any other state. Texas, which has twice as many residents, reported 47,932 cases and both California and Florida reported about 30,000 new cases each.
The previous US record for new cases in a day was 100,233 on October 30, the highest-ever reported by any country in the world.
The US has reported nearly 9.5 million cases of the coronavirus since the pandemic began and 233,663 deaths, making it the world’s most badly affected country.