The United States broke a new record on Friday after an estimated 55,000 contracted coronavirus in a single day, as various states across the country report COVID-19 infections.
A surge in coronavirus cases over the past week has put President Donald Trump’s handling of the crisis under the microscope and led several governors to halt plans to reopen their states after strict lockdowns.
The daily U.S. tally stood at 55,274 late Thursday, topping the previous single-day record of 54,771 set by Brazil on June 19.
Coronavirus cases are rising in 37 out of 50 U.S. states including Florida, which confirmed more than 10,000 new cases on Thursday. That marked the state’s largest daily spike so far and a level that exceeded single-day tallies from any European country at the height of the outbreak there.
California, another epicenter, saw positive tests climb 37% with hospitalizations up 56% over the past two weeks.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican who has previously resisted calls to make face masks mandatory, on Thursday ordered them to be worn in all counties with over 20 coronavirus cases.
“In the past few weeks, there has been a swift and substantial spike in coronavirus cases,” Abbott said in a videotaped message. “We need to refocus on slowing the spread. But this time, we want to do it without closing down Texas again.”
Texas reported nearly 8,000 new cases on Thursday.
New infections were rising in 37 out of 50 U.S. states in the past 14 days compared with the two weeks prior, according to a Reuters analysis. The United States has now recorded nearly 129,000 deaths, nearly a quarter of the known global total.
The wave of new cases has several governors halting or back-pedaling on plans to reopen their states after months of strict lockdowns, closing beaches and canceling fireworks displays over the upcoming Independence Day weekend.