Coronavirus cases and fatalities continue to rise across US

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LOS ANGELES (AFP) – The number of new cases of coronavirus and fatalities continued to mount across the United States on Wednesday, with Texas and Oklahoma recording new highs.

The Texas Department of State Health Services reported 10,791 new cases and 110 new fatalities, saying in a tweet that both numbers “are new highs” for the state.

Oklahoma — where the governor, Kevin Stitt, announced Wednesday he had tested positive for the virus — recorded 1,075 new cases, a single-day record.

Alabama also hit a grim milestone, recording 47 deaths, the highest in a single day.

The disease has also been spreading rapidly in other states, notably Florida, which has recorded nearly 302,000 cases of coronavirus since the pandemic began.

California has also seen a surge in recent weeks, prompting officials to reimpose lockdowns. The state reported its second highest single-day increase in coronavirus cases and deaths on Wednesday, with 11,125 new cases and 140 additional deaths, according to the state s Department of Public Health.

“We are in an alarming and dangerous phase in this pandemic here in L.A. County,” said Barbara Ferrer, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health director, as she announced 44 additional deaths from the virus on Wednesday and 2,758 new cases.

“These alarming trends reflect behaviors from three weeks ago,” she added, saying that the county was seeing the highest rates of hospitalizations since the beginning of the pandemic.

She said there were currently 2,193 people hospitalized in the county due to the virus.

“Younger people are being hospitalized at a faster rate than ever before,” Ferrer said.

Nationwide, more than 65,000 new cases were reported on Tuesday, the nation s second-highest daily total.

The latest research models show the number of US deaths projected to rise to over 150,000 by next month. The death toll currently stands at more than 136,400 and there are more than 3.5 million people infected.

Though the number of new cases slowed in late spring, they began to go upwards again in mid-June as states lifted restrictions and the wearing of the mask became a political dividing line.

President Donald Trump finally wore a mask last week for the first time during the pandemic as he visited a military hospital.

Facial coverings have been recommended by health officials as a precaution against spreading or becoming infected by coronavirus, but many US states have been slow in imposing the wearing of masks in public.

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