The U.S. had more than 50,000 new cases of COVID-19 in a single day Wednesday, marking the first time America has reached that mark as it fights a surge in cases of the disease caused by the coronavirus. The new milestone was reached five days after the U.S. first crossed the 40,000 daily count.
A tally from Johns Hopkins University found approximately 50,700 new cases Wednesday. That number could change as more information comes in. On June 26, the U.S. passed 40,000 daily cases for the first time, soaring to 45,300, according to JHU.
As of early Thursday morning, the U.S. leads the world with nearly 2.7 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. More than 128,000 deaths in the U.S. have been blamed on the disease.
The run-up in confirmed cases has been blamed in part on what's been dubbed by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy as "knucklehead behavior” -- Americans not wearing masks or obeying social-distancing rules as economies reopened from coast to coast over the past two months.
The 50,000 cases in a single day are halfway to a mark warned of by Dr. Anthony Fauci this week. The nation’s top infectious-disease expert warned on Capitol Hill on Tuesday that the rise across the South and West “puts the entire country at risk” and that new infections could reach 100,000 a day if people don’t start listening to public health authorities.
The surge has prompted more states and other jurisdictions to once again implement a new round of shutdowns to stop the spread. More regions are also implementing mandatory facemask use in indoor public places, although not all currently plan to strictly enforce the measure.
Confirmed cases in California have increased nearly 50% over the past two weeks, and COVID-19 hospitalizations have gone up 43%. Gov. Gavin Newsom reported nearly 5,900 new cases and 110 more deaths in 24 hours on Wednesday.
Florida recorded more than 6,500 new cases — down from around 9,000 on some days last week, but still alarming — and a running total of over 3,500 deaths. Counties in South Florida are closing beaches to fend off large July Fourth crowds that could spread the virus.
Louisiana saw its biggest daily spike since April, reporting 2,100 new cases in 24 hours. Georgia set a new daily record with nearly 3,000 new cases. Texas did too, with new infections skyrocketing past 8,000 in a single day for the first time.
The soaring numbers across the Sunbelt have raised fears that many other states could see the same phenomenon if they reopen too, and that people from the South and West could spread the virus to other regions.
Some distant states and cities that seemed to have tamed their outbreaks, including Colorado, Virginia, Delaware and New Jersey, hit pause or backtracked on some of their reopening plans for bars and restaurants as they watched the crisis unfold from afar.
Also, New York and New Jersey are asking visitors from 16 states from the Carolinas to California to quarantine themselves for two weeks.