U.S. coronavirus hotspots far outpacing Europe’s

America’s coronavirus outbreak has surpassed Europe’s.

Why it mattersIt wasn’t long ago that public health experts were pointing to Europe as a warning sign for the U.S. But the U.S. now has a higher per capita caseload than the EU ever has during its recent surge.

By the numbers: As of Saturday, 15 states had higher per capita caseloads, averaged over seven days, than the European country with the highest caseload — Luxembourg.

  • The U.S. overall saw 52.4 cases per 100,000 people. The EU saw 37.6 per 100,000 on Saturday, and peaked at 46.7 cases per 100,000 on Nov. 8.

The big pictureEurope’s steady rise in coronavirus cases over the last couple of months prompted many countries to bring back lockdowns or other strict behavioral restrictions.

  • Meanwhile, in the U.S., some of the hardest-hit states — like Iowa — are just now adopting mask mandates, and airports over the weekend were packed with people traveling for Thanksgiving.

Yes, but: Cases in the hardest-hit states are starting to trend down, a sign that people are modifying their behavior on their own.

What we’re watching: There’s no sign that the number of U.S. cases nationally is going to stop rising anytime soon, especially in the absence of strong federal or state restrictions.

  • Hospitalizations and deaths lag behind cases by a few weeks. That means that Europe likely has easier days ahead, while America’s dark days are just getting started.
  • In the U.S., today’s overwhelmed hospitals will continue to keep getting hit with ever-growing caseloads for awhile.

Go deeper: See all U.S. states’ and EU countries’ per capita caseloads.

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