- Six US states on Tuesday announced record single-day increases in coronavirus cases since lifting restrictions meant to tackle the pandemic.
- Arizona, Nevada, Oklahoma, Florida, Texas, and Oregon all announced their most new cases of any day so far.
- Scientists have warned about the potential for a spike in coronavirus cases as states reopen their economies and ease restrictions.
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Six US states on Tuesday announced record single-day increases in coronavirus cases since lifting restrictions meant to tackle the pandemic.
Gov. Greg Abbott announced that Texas had recorded 2,622 new coronavirus cases – its most ever.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, the total number of people being treated in the hospital for the coronavirus as of Tuesday was 2,518, also a record high for the state. The number of coronavirus hospitalizations in the state had been consistently rising since Friday.
Abbott issued a statewide stay-at-home order on March 31. It lapsed April 30 and was not renewed, giving Texas one of the shortest lockdown orders in the country. Retail stores, restaurants, movies, and shopping centres were allowed to reopen with limited capacity on May 1, and larger entertainment venues are set to reopen at 50% capacity this Friday.
Abbott downplayed the recent uptick in cases on Tuesday, saying in a statement that there remained “abundant hospital capacity.”
“As we begin to open up Texas and Texans return to their jobs, we remain laser-focused on maintaining abundant hospital capacity,” he said.
As of Tuesday, Texas had confirmed more than 93,500 coronavirus cases and more than 2,000 deaths. It estimated that there were still about 30,000 active cases of the virus across the state.
Five other US states also announced record-high coronavirus counts.
The Florida Department of Health on Tuesday reported that its number of new daily cases had jumped to nearly 2,800, its most new cases discovered of any day since the coronavirus was first recorded there in March. Overall, the state has recorded 80,000 positive cases and 2,993 deaths.
Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a lockdown order in Florida on April 1, though retail stores and restaurants were allowed to reopen at a limited capacity on May 4. Houses of worship, entertainment venues, and beaches have also been reopened in recent weeks.
DeSantis acknowledged at a press conference on Tuesday that the number of coronavirus cases in the state had increased, tying the recent uptick to more testing.
“We’re going to continue doing a lot of testing,” he said. “I think we’re over 30,000 test results a day now – we may end up seeing even more of an increase.”
He stressed that he would not yet order another lockdown or mandate wearing masks in public.
Oregon has even temporarily paused its reopening after the uptick in cases.
Scientists have warned about the potential for spikes in coronavirus cases as states reopen their economies and ease coronavirus restrictions.
As of Tuesday, the US had recorded over 2.1 million coronavirus cases and more than 116,000 deaths – the most cases and deaths by far of any country.
This week, the University of Washington updated its projections for the total number of US coronavirus deaths, estimating that the US would see 200,000 deaths by October 1.