Coronavirus live updates: COVID-19 positivity rates rising in 37 US states, analysis shows

The number of new cases of COVID-19 recorded across the United States has increased substantially, as has the number of new deaths from the disease, according to an internal memo from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that was obtained by ABC News on Monday night.

The memo, which is circulated among the highest levels of the federal government and is used to determine daily priorities for the agencies working on a COVID-19 response, said 40 U.S. states and territories are in an upward trajectory of new infections, while nine jurisdictions are at a plateau and seven others are in a downward trend.

There were 488,498 new cases confirmed during the period of Oct. 19-25, a 26% increase from the previous week. There were also 5,615 fatalities from COVID-19 recorded during the same period, a 15.1% increase compared with the week prior, according to the memo.

The national positivity rate for COVID-19 tests increased from 5.6% to 6.1% in week-to-week comparisons. Meanwhile, 22% of hospitals across the country have intensive care units that are more than 80% occupied. That figure is up from the summertime peak, when 17-18% of U.S. hospitals had 80% of ICU beds full, the memo said.

Arizona reported 848 COVID-19 hospitalizations on Oct. 21, its highest count since Aug. 26, according to the memo.

In the U.S. territory of Guam, which continues to be classified as a “red zone” for COVID-19 infections, an average of 89.7% of inpatient beds and 80.2% of ICU beds were occupied in the week ending Oct. 20, the memo said.

North Dakota saw a record high of 1,036 new cases on Oct. 20, surpassing the 1,000 mark of daily incident cases for the first time, according to the memo.

New Jersey reported 852 daily COVID-19 hospitalizations on Oct. 22, its highest since late July, the memo said.

Oklahoma reached a record 956 COVID-19 hospitalizations on Oct. 22. The previous record was set just two days earlier, according to the memo.

Utah reported an all-time high of 314 COVID-19 hospitalizations on Oct. 21, as several hospitals in the state reached capacity, the memo said.

ABC News’ Josh Margolin contributed to this report.

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