Washington, 2 July 2020 (dpa/MIA) – States across the US recorded more than 54,000 cases of the new coronavirus in a single day, breaking a record, as infections continue to spike in a number of regions.
The official numbers from the Centers for Disease Control for Wednesday come on top of a rolling average this week of more than 40,000 new cases a day, as the number of new daily cases now regularly surpasses peaks seen in April and May.
There is no sign of a letup. Florida, one of the main new hotspots, reported more than 9,500 cases in a single day, local health department data released Thursday showed, just about matching a single-day record for the Sunshine State.
Cases are also on the rise across southern and south-western states, with California, Texas, Arizona, Georgia and North Carolina all seeing significant spikes. As cases mount, there is growing concern that some areas of the country reopened too much, too quickly.
US Vice President Mike Pence visited Arizona this week and is due in Florida later Thursday for a meeting with Governor Ron De Santis who has all but said he will not significantly shut down the economy, though he has placed restrictions on bars and taverns.
President Donald Trump has continued to say that the federal government is helping local officials deal with hotspots, but has downplayed concerns that the new spikes would derail the economic recovery from the recession.
The figures come as the US heads into the July 4 holiday weekend, which starts Friday, raising concerns about large gatherings for Independence Day. Some local authorities in Florida cities are imposing stricter measures than their governor, including cancelling firework shows.
At the same time, New York, once the epicentre of the US outbreak, has paused some re-openings, including indoor dining. New York City, however, is still planning to reopen schools in September, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
Many of the new cases are among people below the age of 40, with Florida reporting an average age of 37. Elected officials seem to be hoping that with the most vulnerable not badly affected right now, and some restrictions in place, the worst can be avoided.
The CDC said the past day saw 725 new deaths, raising the national toll to 128,024. While high, this rate remains far below records seen earlier in the pandemic.