Virus Outbreak

FILE - In this Sept. 8, 2020, file photo, Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health nurses Crys Kuntz, left, and Sara Nelson confer inside the Bismarck Event Center in Bismarck, N.D., where vehicles were lined up for the weekly drive-thru COVID-19 testing. A surge of coronavirus cases in Wisconsin and the Dakotas is forcing a scramble for hospital beds and raising political tensions, as the Upper Midwest and Plains emerge as one of the nation’s most troubling hotspots. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP, File)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A surge of coronavirus cases in Wisconsin and the Dakotas is forcing a scramble for hospital beds and raising political tensions, as the Upper Midwest and Plains emerge as one of the nation’s most troubling hot spots.

The three states now lead all others in new cases per capita, after months in which many politicians and residents rejected mask requirements while downplaying the risks of the disease that has now killed over 210,000 Americans.

(Copyright © 2020 APG Media)

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