The United States has reached a daily global record for the coronavirus pandemic — reporting more than 55,000 new COVID-19 cases. The daily U.S. tally stood at 55,274 late Thursday, which exceeds the previous single-day record of 54,771 set by Brazil on June 19.
Johns Hopkins University & Medicine's Coronavirus Resource Center, which tracks the virus worldwide, says the total number of cases reported in the U.S. stands at 2,739,879, an increase of 53,399 over Wednesday's figure.
Brazil has the next highest number of cases with 1,496,858. Russia rounds out the top three with 660,231 cases. U.S. deaths attributed to the coronavirus stands at 128,740. Brazil ranks second with 61,884 deaths and the United Kingdom third with 44,080 deaths.
As infections spike in the U.S., a number of states are taking action to try to slow the spread of cases.
Florida's surgeof COVID-19 cases shows no signs of slowing down. The state Department of Heath reported Florida set another daily record Thursday, with 10,109 cases, surpassing Saturday's record of 9,585 cases.
The milestone continues a marked upturn in cases that began last month, weeks after Florida started allowing businesses to reopen.
In Texas, another coronavirus hot spot, wearing face masks is now required in most of the state.
Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order on Thursday requiring Texans to wear face coverings in public in counties with 20 or more COVID-19 cases. The announcement comes as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to surge, with the state reporting 7,915 new cases on Thursday.
Kansas is also now requiring face coverings after a 46% spike in infections there last week. Gov. Laura Kelly's order, with some exceptions, ordered people to wear masks indoors or outdoors where 6 feet of social distancing cannot be maintained.
Arizona is contending with one of the worst outbreaks of any state as coronavirus cases surge. Hospitals are bracing for a wave of seriously ill patients, and health officials are pleading with the public to wear masks and heed guidance about social distancing — even in the absence of a second stay-at-home order.
Arizona was quick to relax restrictions on businesses and reopen its economy, beginning in early May. Most new cases have come in just the past month.
California, another coronavirus epicenter, saw positive tests climb 37% with hospitalizations up 56% over the past two weeks.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department West Hollywood Station stepped up enforcement of an order from California Gov. Gavin Newsom, saying in a Facebook post that it would issue citations that come with a $250 fine and $50 in fees.
As the country celebrates the July Fourth holiday weekend, health officials will be on alert. Following May's Memorial Day holiday, coronavirus hospitalizations rose sharply in several states.
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