Both California and Florida — the two states with the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country — set new records for single-day coronavirus deaths on Wednesday. The heartbreaking milestones come as the U.S. surpasses 150,000 deaths from the virus.
California Governor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday said 197 people in the state died from COVID-19 on Tuesday, the state’s highest in a single day. The state also reported 8,755 new positive cases.
According to Johns Hopkins University, California has the highest number of confirmed cases in the U.S., with at least 473,785. If California were its own country, it would have the fifth-highest number of cases behind only the U.S., Brazil, India and Russia.
“Please — WEAR A MASK,” Newsom tweeted.
Florida’s Department of Health confirmed Wednesday that 216 people died from the virus on Tuesday, a new single-day record for the state just one day after setting its previous record of 186 new deaths. An additional 9,448 people tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the state’s total to at least 451,423 confirmed cases.
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The Sunshine State surpassed New York — a former hot spot that reported six new COVID-19 fatalities Wednesday — in total confirmed cases Saturday. Many ICUs across the state are at or nearing capacity.
The Florida Division of Emergency Management announced Wednesday that all state-run COVID-19 testing sites will be closed Friday through Tuesday due to the incoming tropical storm, CBS affiliate WCTV reports.
Arkansas, Montana and Oregon also reported record high single-day deaths on Wednesday. Nearly half of all states are now part of the government’s so-called “red zone” due to surges, which disproportionately affect communities of color.
Debates over mask mandates and school reopenings continue to rage across the country. President Trump has pushed for reopening, telling CBS News’ Catherine Herridge earlier in July that schools are making a “terrible decision” if they decide to continue with distance learning in the fall.
The world’s biggest COVID-19 vaccine study is now underway, with the first of 30,000 planned volunteers helping to test shots created by the U.S. government — one of several candidates in the final stretch of the global vaccine race.
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