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US average daily coronavirus cases rising to 74,000

The rolling average for daily new deaths rose over the past two weeks from 724 to 787.

WASHINGTON — The seven-day rolling average for daily new coronavirus cases in the U.S. rose over the past two weeks from 52,350 to more than 74,180.

That’s according to data through Wednesday from Johns Hopkins University, marking a return to levels not seen since the summer surge. The rolling average for daily new deaths rose over the past two weeks from 724 to 787.

Positive test rates have been rising in 45 states, according to the COVID Tracking Project. Fifteen states have positive test rates of 10% or higher, considered an indicator of widespread transmission.

On Thursday, the United States recorded more than 88,000 new cases of COVID-19, marking a new single-day record high for the country. It passed the previous high of 83,731 set on Oct. 23.

Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary Adm. Brett Giroir said earlier his week the proof of the uptick is the rising numbers of hospitalizations and deaths.

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The U.S. leads the world with 8.9 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 228,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic. Worldwide, there are more than 45 million confirmed cases with more than 1.1 million deaths. 

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, often cited by the White House, now projects the U.S. will have an additional 100,000 deaths between now and Jan. 1 if mask usage remains at its current level. That number can be reduced by 1/3 if there is universal mask use.

Credit: M. Staymates/N. Hanacek/NIST
This high-speed visualization illustrates airflow when coughing, it does not show the movement of virus particles. As you can see, the uncovered cough expels a jet of air, whereas the covered cough stays closer to my face.