Nearly half a million people in the United States have contracted the novel coronavirus in the last seven days, according to a Reuters tally, as cases and hospitalizations set fresh records in hot spots in the Midwest. More than 5,600 people died from the virus nationwide in the last week, with hospitalizations shooting up 13%, a Reuters analysis showed. Illinois, which has emerged as a hot spot in recent weeks, reported over 31,000 new cases in the last seven days, more new infections than any other state except Texas. To try and contain the surge, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker imposed fresh rounds of restrictions in six of 11 regions. Indoor dining in bars and restaurants will be suspended by Wednesday and gatherings will be limited to 25 people under a state formula that triggers ‘mitigation’ when the positivity rate tops 8% for at least two days in a row. The affected areas include some Chicago suburbs. Other states have walked back reopening plans to curb the spread of the virus as cooler weather sets in across most of the nation. Idaho Governor Brad Little on Monday announced indoor gatherings of more than 50 people would be prohibited, and outdoor gatherings are to be capped at 25% capacity. Health experts believe the virus is surging because of private social gatherings, colder temperatures driving people inside, and fatigue with COVID-19 precautions. Beyond the Midwest, the Texas city of El Paso is also facing a surge in cases that is overwhelming local hospitals, with officials setting up an alternate care facility to help relieve medical centers.