After declining for months, U.S. coronavirus cases are rising again. Has the ‘fall wave’ begun?

Summer just ended. The weather is cooling. School is back in session or trying to be. People are spending more time indoors.

And now, after nearly two months of slow but steady decline, new daily U.S. coronavirus cases are rising again, with the seven-day average increasing by 21 percent — from 34,588 to 41,868 — since Sept. 12.

Is this the start of the pandemic’s dreaded “fall wave”?

The short answer is… it’s complicated. Much of the current uptick in coronavirus cases is tied to geography. In some previously hard-hit places — California, for instance — it’s almost certainly a by-product of increased testing. In others, such as Texas, college outbreaks are a driving force. Meanwhile, a state like Wisconsin — where the average positive testing rate has soared from about 6 percent in early August to more than 17 percent today — seems to have a more widespread

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