The U.S. has reached another dire landmark in its fight against COVID-19, surpassing 2 million confirmed cases on Wednesday. New coronavirus infections are rising in at least 20 states, even as restrictions on daily life continue to ease across the country.
As of Thursday morning, more than 112,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the U.S. — the most fatalities reported by any nation, according to a tracker from Johns Hopkins University. And most experts believe those numbers underestimate the true toll.
New cases have declined in places such as Illinois, Michigan, New York and Washington — states that recorded higher infection rates in the first wave of the U.S. outbreak. But a new wave has emerged, largely in states that previously had lower rates of infection.
Cases in states such as Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas and Utah have been on the rise since just before Memorial Day, when many states started to ease stay-at-home restrictions. The same states have also had a rise in hospitalizations at the same time.
Inpatient hospitalizations for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 hit its highest number on Wednesday, with 1,291 hospitalizations in Arizona.
Arizona’s sharp increases have begun raising questions and alarm about whether the state has done enough to slow the spread and what other precautions may be necessary