The number of new daily cases in the U.S. is close to breaking the record set in April, with more than 30,000 new infections each day.

By Claudia Harmata
June 18, 2020
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Martin Schwartz/PEOPLE

Several states are considering closing businesses again as new cases of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, continue to surge in parts of the U.S.

Though the number of new deaths has been declining, over half of the country is seeing record numbers of new COVID-19 infections. Twenty-six states have an increasing number of cases over the last two weeks — Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming, according to The New York Times database.

States like Alabama and Wyoming had previously reported a decline in cases. Several have also seen their highest seven-day average of the entire pandemic in the last week — more than at the nationwide height of the outbreak in April.

According to CNN, data reported by Johns Hopkins on Tuesday shows that Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina and Texas are seeing these record-high averages.

Florida alone reported 3,207 additional coronavirus cases on Thursday, June 18, their largest single day count since the start of the outbreak.

People dine in Florida as the state reopens

Experts are warning that the southern state has "all the markings of the next large epicenter of coronavirus transmission," according to a team of scientists at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania, CNN reported. 

"The potential for the virus to take off there is very, very nerve-racking and could have catastrophic consequences"due to state's older population Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo, director of the division of infectious diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham told the outlet.

Arizona similarly reported a new single-day high with 2,519 new cases on June 18, while officials in Texas are also warning residents that cases are rising swiftly throughout major cities like Houston, Dallas and San Antonio.

Last week, one of Houston county’s top elected officials, Judge Lina Hidalgo, warned that the community was “on the precipice of a disaster," the Houston Chronicle reported.

In Utah — another state seeing a rise in cases — Dr. Angela Dunn, the state's epidemiologist, said she traced Utah's resurgence to the start of the reopening, which began before Memorial Day.

“The timing directly correlates with our loosening up restrictions,” Dunn told the Times. “That definitely has something to do with it.”

If the number of cases continue to rise, the U.S. could set a new record for highest infections, which hit a peak of 36,739 on April 24. Currently, the U.S. is seeing more than 30,000 new infections each day.

Meanwhile, the number of new cases abroad is higher than ever, with a record high of 166,000 reported in a single day on Wednesday, the Times database reports. 

China, the original epicenter of the virus, recently imposed new travel restrictions on nearly half a million residents near Beijing to try and contain a new outbreak in the area, according to CTV News.

After months of no new cases in the area, 21 cases of the virus were reported on Thursday.

Brazil, South America’s largest country, has surged as the country with the second-highest number cases and deaths globally, second only to the U.S.

As of Thursday, more than 2,186,983 people in the U.S. have tested positive for COVID-19, and at least 118,071 people have died.

Globally, the virus has sickened more than 8,380,000 people, with a worldwide death toll of at least 450,000 people.

The information in this story is accurate as of press time. However, as the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve, it's possible that some data have changed since publication. While Health is trying to keep our stories as up-to-date as possible, we also encourage readers to stay informed on news and recommendations for their own communities by using the CDCWHO, and their local public health department as resources.

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This Story Originally Appeared On people