The United States edged closer to a single-day coronavirus infection record with more than 74,000 new cases Friday, approaching the mark set just one week ago, as the pandemic that has burned through the country for months showed no sign of easing.
More than 1,000 Americans have died each day between Tuesday and Friday, the worst tally of human loss since late May.
Even as President Trump insists that children must return to school in a matter of weeks, the nation appears no closer to controlling this worst-in-a-century medical emergency than it was months ago.
The number of patients hospitalized with covid-19 has roughly doubled over the past month as the disease caused by the novel coronavirus tightened its grip on states such as California, Florida, Texas and Arizona. U.S. hospitals treated 59,670 people on Friday, just shy of the mid-April record of 59,940, according to the Covid Tracking Project.
At least 143,000 Americans have died of covid-19 and more than 4.1 million have been infected, according to data tracked by The Washington Post. As of Saturday evening, the seven-day averages for new cases hit fresh highs in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Kentucky, Alaska, Mississippi, Missouri, Indiana, Kansas and California, according to The Post’s tracking.
Montana’s one-day case high increased by more than half from its previous high — from 144 cases on July 15 to 221 on Saturday. Hawaii’s single-day infections count also set a record.
California, South Carolina, Georgia, Texas and Florida set records for their seven-day averages of daily deaths.
The galloping outbreak appears to have bested efforts to return the economy to normal functioning, at least for now. After regaining almost one-third of the nearly 21 million jobs lost when most nonessential businesses closed this spring, the U.S. economy appears to be losing momentum.
Workplace activity has slumped in the hardest-hit states and is plateauing elsewhere, leaving the number of Americans working “roughly unchanged” over the past month, the bank said.
A new Census Bureau survey of U.S. households was even more downbeat. It found 5 million fewer Americans saying they were employed than in a similar survey two weeks earlier.
The economy is set to suffer a further blow within days as funding for enhanced unemployment benefits and a federal moratorium on evictions both expire. The Senate recessed for the weekend, with Republicans unable to unite behind an alternative to House Democrats’ proposed $3 trillion economic rescue legislation.