Coronavirus updates: New cases, deaths see double-digit increases in past week: HHS

The numbers of cases nationally grew 22.7% week over week.

A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 1.1 million people worldwide.

Over 43.8 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

The United States is the worst-affected country, with more than 8.7 million diagnosed cases and at least 226,606 deaths.


New cases, deaths see double-digit increases in past week: HHS

New COVID-19 cases and deaths saw double-digit increases in the past week in the U.S., according to an internal Health and Human Services memo obtained by ABC News.
 
The number of new cases reported nationally from Oct. 20 to 26 increased 22.7% compared to the previous seven-day period, and recorded deaths increased 10.5% during that time period, HHS found.

The national test-positivity rate increased to 6.2% from 5.8% in week-to-week comparisons, as 41 states and territories are in an upward trajectory of new cases, according to the memo.

Across the country, 20% of hospitals have more than 80% of their ICU beds filled. That number was 17% to 18% during the summertime peak.

In Montana, new deaths increased by 50% in the week ending Oct. 20, compared to the prior week.

And in Minnesota, more than 70 outbreaks and 600 cases of COVID-19 have been tied to weddings, the memo noted.

ABC News' Josh Margolin contributed to this report.


Belgium reports 21.1% positivity rate


COVID-19 cases in Belgium have increased by 38% in the last week and the nation’s positivity rate stands at 21.1%, according to the Belgian Scientific Institute of Public Health.

Hospitalizations have hit a record high with 689 new admissions in the last day, surpassing the record of 629 set in March.

Hospitalizations have now reached a total of 5,554. During the first wave, the highest was 5,715.

Germany will take in Belgian patients if needed, German ambassador Martin Kotthaus said on Belgian TV.

Europe accounts for the great proportion of new cases, contributing nearly half of all new cases reported globally in the last week, according to a report from the World Health Organization. In Europe deaths have increased by 37% over the previous week.

ABC News’ Christine Theodorou contributed to this report.


Cases skyrocketing in Wisconsin

Wisconsin has now surpassed 200,000 COVID-19 cases. While it took Wisconsin a little over seven months to reach 100,000 cases, it took a fraction of that time -- just 36 days -- to reach 200,000, Gov. Tony Evers said.

With 5,262 new cases and 64 more deaths, Tuesday marked Wisconsin’s largest single-day increase for cases and fatalities, said Secretary-Designee Andrea Palm.

Hospitals across the state are strained and operating with critical and imminent staffing shortages, Palm said.

Evers urged residents to avoid gatherings and only leave their homes when absolutely necessary.

ABC News’ Rachel Katz contributed to this report.



New Yorkers urged to stay home for Thanksgiving

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is urging New Yorkers to avoid traveling over Thanksgiving to keep high COVID-19 numbers from returning to the city.

“You could be putting your family and yourself in danger and bringing the disease back here," the mayor said, according to ABC New York station WABC. "Everyone is going to make their own decision, I know there are painful choices. I get it. But my recommendation is to avoid travel this holiday season. Stay safe, to keep us all safe.”