U.S. coronavirus cases top 1.5 million, infections rise in some southern states
The number of COVID-19 cases in the United States exceeded 1.5 million on Monday, as total deaths caused by the new coronavirus approached 90,000.
Most U.S. states reported a drop in new cases of the respiratory illness for the week ended May 17, with only 13 states seeing a rise in infections compared to the previous week, a separate Analyst analysis found.
Tennessee had the biggest weekly increase with 33%. Louisiana’s new cases rose 25%, and Texas reported 22% more cases than in the first week of May, according to the analysis of data from The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer-run effort to track the outbreak.
Nationally, new cases of COVID-19 are down 8% in the last week, helped by continued declines in New York and New Jersey. Nearly all 50 U.S. states, however, have allowed some businesses to reopen and residents to move more freely, raising fears among some health officials of the second wave of outbreaks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended states wait for their daily number of new COVID-19 cases to fall for 14 days before easing social distancing restrictions.
As of May 17, 13 states had met that criteria, down from 14 states in the prior week, according to the Reuters analysis.
Kansas and Missouri saw the biggest declines in new cases from the previous week, after an outbreak at a St. Joseph, Missouri meatpacking plant resulted in over 400 cases in the first week of May. St. Joseph sits on the Kansas-Missouri border, just north of Kansas City.
Washington D.C. saw a 32% decline after several weeks of growth.
Georgia, one of the first states to reopen, saw new cases fall 12% in the past week and now has two consecutive weeks of declining cases.
Globally, coronavirus cases top 4.5 million since the outbreak began in China late last year. On a per-capita basis, the United States has the third-highest number of cases, with about 45 for every 10,000 people, according to an analysis.