The coronavirus pandemic took a dramatic turn for the worse in the United States during July, with states reporting a combined 1.9 million new confirmed cases and at least 24,833 coronavirus-related deaths, according to The Washington Post’s tracking.

July infections were more than double the number reported in June and represent roughly 42 percent of the total number of cases tallied in the United States since the country’s initial outbreaks. Nationwide testing has steadily increased — in July it rose from about 600,000 to 820,000 tests per day — but soaring positivity rates and hospitalizations made clear that virus transmission was accelerating.

Deaths were up more than 3,000 over the previous month, trailing the surge in infections by a few weeks, as public health experts predicted when outbreaks started cropping up in areas that saw relatively few infections in the pandemic’s early stages. To date, nearly 150,000 people in the United States have died of covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.

States across the South and West were hit hardest over the past month. Florida reported roughly 318,000 new cases, California reported 270,000, and Texas reported 252,000. The number of deaths rose most in those states, too, with Texas reporting 3,850, Florida reporting 3,362 and California reporting 3,025. Infections and deaths also rose significantly in Georgia, Arizona, Louisiana, Tennessee and the Carolinas.

The figures paint a bleak picture of the pandemic when the country’s virus response remains fractured and halting. Officials at all levels of government spent much of the month sparring over whether to roll back reopening plans in response to sharply rising caseloads and institute public health requirements recommended by leading health experts. Governors in more than half of all U.S. states have issued some form of a public face-covering requirement, but some, including Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R), have avoided them and have sought to block local governments from enacting such mandates.

Source: The Washington Post

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