U.S. Coronavirus Cases Surpass 2 Million as Several States See Their Highest Hospitalizations Yet

The enormous tally comes just four months after the government confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in the United States

Nurses station in busy hospital
Nurses station in busy hospital. Photo: Getty

The United States has surpassed more than 2 million confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, officially making it the country with the highest number of cases of any nation in the world, according to recent data.

As of Thursday morning, there have been 2,000,464 coronavirus cases in the U.S. and 112,942 deaths, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins. Worldwide, there have been over 7.4 million confirmed cases of the virus and 417,174 deaths.

The enormous tally comes just four months after the government confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in the country.

The epicenter of the virus continues to be in New York, where there have been nearly 385,000 cases. New Jersey has the second-highest number with over 165,000 cases, the New York Times reported.

News of hitting the 2 million mark comes as cases of COVID-19 are spiking in nearly two dozen states and Puerto Rico in the weeks after Memorial Day weekend, and as they reopen to more regular business.

In 21 states and territories — Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Washington — new COVID-19 cases are trending sharply upward, according to the Times.

Galveston beach
Beachgoers in Galveston, Texas in May. MARK FELIX/AFP /AFP via Getty

And in several states, such as Arizona, Utah, Texas and North Carolina, they are now seeing their highest number of new daily cases of the entire pandemic — more than they ever saw in April, at the nationwide height of the outbreak.

Many of these states are also experiencing an increase in hospitalizations and are running out of hospital bed capacity. In Texas, for example, they’ve seen a 36 percent increase in cases since Memorial Day, The Washington Post reported.

Local officials in these areas reported that tourist areas were packed over the holiday weekend. Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks was now-infamously filled with partygoers at bars and pools in the area, leading public health officials to urge them to quarantine for 14 days and get tested for COVID-19.

At least one of the Ozarks partiers has since tested positive for COVID-19.

Ozarks party
Scott Pasmore/Twitter

The first cases of a mysterious respiratory illness began in Wuhan, China, in late December. Since then, the virus has spread worldwide, leading the World Health Organization to declare a public health emergency, the first since the zika epidemic in 2016.

At first, this coronavirus was contained to China, but Wuhan is a major transportation hub with hundreds of flights leaving and landing from the city of 11 million each day.

The first known case in America was found in Everett, Washington, just outside of Seattle, in a man who had recently returned from Wuhan.

On Feb. 26, California health officials announced the first case of community spread — meaning someone had contracted coronavirus despite no recent travel, and had likely unknowingly come in contact with someone with the virus. From there, the number of U.S. cases jumped significantly, particularly in densely-populated areas in New York and Michigan.

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