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ALERT: US marks record 53,069 coronavirus cases in 24 hours: tracker

The US notched more than 53,000 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours Thursday, a tally by Johns Hopkins University showed, a new one-day record as infections surge around the country.

The Baltimore-based university's tracker showed 53,069 more cases as of 8:30 pm (0030 Friday GMT), bringing the total number of cases since the pandemic reached the United States to 2,735,339.

The university also recorded a further 649 fatalities, bringing the total death toll to 128,677.

The second consecutive day of a record-high case count came as the United States -- the hardest-hit country in the world in the coronavirus pandemic -- headed into the long July Fourth holiday weekend.

Florida is a key focus of public health experts worried about a surge in southern and western US states and it now has more than 169,000 cases.

Governor Ron DeSantis blamed the rise on "social interactions" among young people gathering at parties, beaches, bars, swimming pools and elsewhere, as well as a more "robust" testing program.

In Texas, where more than 2,500 people have died, Governor Greg Abbott ordered people in counties with 20 or more cases to wear masks, and banned gatherings of more than 10 people.

The move came after the Lone Star State reported 8,000 new cases on Wednesday, the latest in a string of records that has alarmed health authorities, and led to the governor largely halting the reopening program that started in early May.

Topics: COVID-19 , Coronavirus , United States
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