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U.S. COVID-19 cases under 50K for 4th day; deaths spike

Aug. 19 — Coronavirus deaths in the United States more than tripled on Tuesday compared to the previous day, but the national caseload continued a gradual decline from its peak last month, new data showed Wednesday.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, about 1,300 people died of COVID-19 Tuesday — a significant increase over the 572 deaths recorded Sunday and 445 on Monday.

The university’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering said there were 44,800 new COVID-19 cases nationwide on Tuesday, the fourth straight day of fewer than 50,000. The last time there were four consecutive days under 50,000 was late June.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 5.482 million cases and 171,800 deaths in the United States, data from Johns Hopkins showed.

Most of the new deaths were recorded in Florida, more than 200, but new cases there (3,800) reached their lowest point in two months, state health officials reported.

Florida has reported a daily average of 172 deaths over the past week, one of the deadliest periods the state has seen to date. Florida’s positivity rate, however, is down to 7.9%, marking a sixth consecutive day under 10%.

The state was averaging more than 10,000 cases per day at their peak last month.

The White House Coronavirus Task Force said Georgia now has the highest rate of new cases, for the week ending Friday. For that period, Georgia reported 216 cases per 100,000 people — a rate nearly twice the national average, according to a task force report obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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“Georgia’s small gains are fragile and statewide progress will require continued, expanded and stronger mitigation efforts, including in all open schools,” the report said.

The task force recommended that state officials close bars and gyms and restrict indoor dining at restaurants to 25% capacity in high-risk areas.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has resisted new restrictions on restaurants, businesses and gatherings. Since early June, restaurants statewide have been allowed to operate at full capacity and live performance venues have also reopened.

A spokesman for Kemp told the Journal-Constitution that Georgia has seen lower hospitalization and positivity rates over the last week.

In California, Riverside County reported hundreds of new cases Tuesday, raising its total caseload to nearly 50,000 — the second-most in the state, following Los Angeles County with more than 200,000.

Riverside County, which is home to about 2.5 million people, is California’s fourth most populous county. Its most recent seven-day average of new cases is fifth-highest among all U.S. counties, according to the Harvard Global Health Institute. Neighboring San Bernardino County is next on the list. Both are averaging more than 700 new cases per day.

Source: UPI

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