**FILE PHOTO**
**FILE PHOTO**

More than half of U.S. states experienced a jump in the number of new coronavirus cases over the past week, with five states reporting an increase of more than 50%.

In all, 31 states — including Virginia — saw an increase from the previous week, with Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Tennessee and Vermont all up by more than 50%, CNN reported, citing a Johns Hopkins University tracker.

Only Maine, Texas and Washington reported fewer new cases than the previous week, CNN reported. The other 16 states, including Maryland, held steady.

The increases come as health experts warned that the U.S. could have a surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths in the fall and winter months, as people exercise less caution and spend more time indoors where the likelihood of transmission is greater.

As of Monday, the U.S. had nearly 7.8 million coronavirus cases and 215,000 related deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins tracker.

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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