The U.S. recorded 50,700 new COVID-19 cases. The Canadian Press

More than 50,000 Coronavirus cases reported per day in US

Coronavirus cases are rising in 40 of 50 US states

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. climbed to an all-time high of more than 50,000 per day on Thursday, with the infection curve rising in 40 out of 50 states in a reversal that has largely spared only the Northeast.

In yet another alarming indicator, 36 states are seeing a rise in the percentage of tests that are coming back positive for the virus.

The surge has been blamed in part on Americans not wearing masks or following other social distancing rules as states lifted their lockdowns over the past few weeks.

The U.S. recorded 50,700 new cases, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. That represents a doubling of the daily total over the past month and is higher even than what the country witnessed during the deadliest phase of the crisis in April and May.

All but 10 states are showing an increase in newly confirmed cases over the past 14 days, according to data compiled by the COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer organization that collects testing information. The outbreaks are most severe in Arizona, Texas and Florida, which together with California have re-closed or otherwise clamped back down on bars, restaurants and movie theatres.

Nebraska and South Dakota were the only states outside the Northeast with a downward trend in cases.

While some of the increases may be explained in part by expanded testing, other indicators are grim, too, including hospitalizations and positive test rates. Over the past two weeks, the percentage of positive tests in Georgia, Kansas and Tennessee has doubled. In Idaho and Nevada, it has tripled.

The surge in cases comes as Americans head into a Fourth of July holiday weekend that health officials warn could add fuel to the virus by drawing big crowds. Many municipalities have cancelled fireworks displays. Beaches up and down California and Florida have been closed.

Florida reported more than 10,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases for the first time Thursday. That is six times higher than the daily count of less than a month ago. The state also reported 67 deaths for the second time in a week. Deaths per day are up about 30 per cent from two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, the government reported that U.S. unemployment fell to 11.1% in June as the economy added a solid 4.8 million jobs. But the data was collected during the second week of June, before many states began to backtrack on restarting their economies.

Several Northeastern states have seen new infections slow down significantly, including New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Jersey, which allowed its Atlantic City casinos to reopen Thursday, though with no smoking, no drinking and no eating.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday seemed confident the virus would soon subside, telling Fox Business: “I think that, at some point, that’s going to sort of just disappear, I hope.”

The U.S. has reported at least 2.7 million cases and more than 128,000 dead, the highest toll in the world. Globally there have been 10.7 million confirmed cases and more than 516,000 dead, according to Johns Hopkins’ count. The true toll is believed to be significantly higher, in part because of limited testing and mild cases that have been missed.

Other countries are also reporting record numbers of cases.

South Africa recorded more than 8,100 new cases, a one-day record. The country has the most cases in Africa, more than 159,000, as it loosens what had been one of the world’s strictest lockdowns.

“We have now entered a new and treacherous phase in the life cycle of this pandemic,” South African President Cyril Ramaphosa warned in a broadcast to the nation.

India, the world’s second-most populous country with more than 1.3 billion people, surpassed 600,000 infections on Thursday after over 19,000 new cases were reported. India has reported nearly 100,000 new cases in the past four days alone.

Many industries and businesses have reopened across India, though schools, colleges and movie theatres are still closed.

On the medical front, the World Health Organization said that smoking is linked to a higher risk of severe illness and death from the coronavirus in hospitalized patients, although it was unable to specify exactly how much greater the danger might be.

READ MORE: ‘A little bit scary for everybody’: Air passengers wary as new rules take effect

READ MORE: B.C. reports 12 new COVID-19 cases as officials urge caution for Canada Day

___

Associated Press’ Cara Anna in Johannesburg contributed to this report. Coyle reported from New York. Rising reported from Berlin.

___

Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.

Jake Coyle, Terry Spencer And David Rising, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sidney can ‘only educate and encourage’ people to social distance

CAO says municipality lacks legislative authority to enforce social distancing in public

Ocean Boulevard could open after Labour Day

Colwood council expected to discuss options later this month

View Royal fire chief calls for realistic solutions to ‘mess’ at Thetis Lake

Emergency crews harassed while extinguishing brush fire, rescuing drunk 15-year-old during long weekend calls

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

Cyclist in hospital after being hit by load of lumber hanging from truck on B.C. highway

A man is in hospital with broken ribs, punctured lung and a broken clavicle and scapula

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Racism in B.C. healthcare: Deadline for First Nations survey coming up on Aug. 6

Survey comes after hospital staff allegedly played a blood alcohol guessing game

‘We want to help’: As overdose deaths spike, beds lay empty at long-term Surrey rehab centre

John Volken Academy searching for ‘students’ to enlist in two-year residential treatment program

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Most Read