What you need to know about COVID-19: Confirmed coronavirus cases hit 3 million in US

Six months ago, no one thought COVID-19 existed in the U.S.The first reported case came on Jan. 21. Within 99 days, 1 million Americans became infected.It took just 43 days after that to reach 2 million cases.And 28 days later, the U.S. reached 3 million cases of the novel coronavirus Wednesday. In 35 states, the rate of new cases keeps increasing, threatening to reverse the progress made during weeks of painful shutdowns and stay-at-home orders.The latest numbersThe U.S. has reported at least 132,000 deaths due to the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University.Many Americans have fallen into a false sense of security as states started reopening, abandoning safety measures such as social distancing and wearing face masks, health officials say.While the death rate has generally declined in recent weeks, “it’s a false narrative to take comfort in a lower rate of death,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Tuesday.Deaths can lag “two, three, four, five weeks after” new cases are reported, sad Dr. Rochelle Walensky, infectious diseases chief at Massachusetts General Hospital.The White House has suggested that the decreasing death rate is a sign that COVID-19 is under control, but other metrics continue to surge.The U.S. set a record for the most cases reported in a single day — 60,021 on Tuesday.In Florida, 42 hospitals on Wednesday had no more capacity in their intensive care units — down from 56 a day earlier — and others are running low, but the state Agency for Health Care Administration said, “Hospitals have the ability to convert beds and bring additional ICU beds online in a surge situation when necessary.”In Arizona, the state has set records for daily death counts about once a week, including Tuesday — the same day the state reported its lowest-ever number of ICU beds available.”We need medical professionals. We need testing kits. We need supplies immediately,” Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said Tuesday. “Our hospital is already in dire straits, and they tell us in the next two weeks it is going to get to an unbearable level of crisis.” California and Texas set grim recordsCalifornia and Texas are among the states setting new records as well.With nearly 6,000 patients Tuesday, California hospitalizations are at an all-time high. Tuesday saw a 3.4% increase in patients from the prior day.The state also recorded it highest number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units, according to data from California Department of Public Health.On Wednesday, 98 deaths were reported in Texas, a new daily record. The Lone Star State also reported 9,979 new COVID cases, one day after having its highest single-day increase, more than 10,000 cases. The total for the state is now more than 219,000 cases and more than 2,800 deaths. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that a testing site in Edinburg will offer 5,000 free tests a day between Wednesday and July 14 in an effort to increase testing in hot spots.”This new surge testing site will help us identify and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the Rio Grande Valley and keep Texans safe,” Abbott said.Massachusetts, too, will launch a testing initiative — Stop the Spread, beginning Friday and running through mid-August — that will target eight communities, including New Bedford, Chelsea and Lowell, which make up 27% of positive tests but only 9% of the population, Gov. Charlie Baker said. The initiative will include brick-and-mortar and mobile facilities.’Wear a mask. Period’As of Monday, 35 states plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico had implemented some type of mask requirement order, and Fauci said he is “strongly in favor” of the mandates to curb the spread.”When you look at what we can do that we know works, it’s the use of masks, physical distance and avoiding crowds,” Fauci said Tuesday. “So, if you’re saying it doesn’t matter whether you put it on or take it off, you’re giving a wrong, mixed signal. The signal should be: Wear a mask. Period.”If most Americans heed that signal, as many as 45,000 fewer Americans will die of coronavirus this fall, according to Dr. Chris Murray, the director of the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).The newest model, released Tuesday, projects as many as 208,000 coronavirus deaths by Nov. 1. The new death rate stems from the recent surge in cases combined with seasonality and schools reopening, Murray said.But that number drops to 163,000 if most Americans wear a face mask, according to the model.”It’s an incredibly simple strategy and intervention,” Murray said. “It’s one that will save lives, but it will also help the economy enormously because it will avoid shutdowns which will inevitably come when things get quickly out of control in some states.”Stop the spread of COVID-19To help stop the spread of the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend you keep 6 feet between yourself and others, in addition to wearing a mask. Make sure to wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.For more tips on how to stay safe, CLICK HERE.The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Six months ago, no one thought COVID-19 existed in the U.S.

The first reported case came on Jan. 21. Within 99 days, 1 million Americans became infected.

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It took just 43 days after that to reach 2 million cases.

And 28 days later, the U.S. reached 3 million cases of the novel coronavirus Wednesday.

In 35 states, the rate of new cases keeps increasing, threatening to reverse the progress made during weeks of painful shutdowns and stay-at-home orders.

The latest numbers

The U.S. has reported at least 132,000 deaths due to the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Many Americans have fallen into a false sense of security as states started reopening, abandoning safety measures such as social distancing and wearing face masks, health officials say.

While the death rate has generally declined in recent weeks, “it’s a false narrative to take comfort in a lower rate of death,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Tuesday.

Deaths can lag “two, three, four, five weeks after” new cases are reported, sad Dr. Rochelle Walensky, infectious diseases chief at Massachusetts General Hospital.

The White House has suggested that the decreasing death rate is a sign that COVID-19 is under control, but other metrics continue to surge.

The U.S. set a record for the most cases reported in a single day — 60,021 on Tuesday.

In Florida, 42 hospitals on Wednesday had no more capacity in their intensive care units — down from 56 a day earlier — and others are running low, but the state Agency for Health Care Administration said, “Hospitals have the ability to convert beds and bring additional ICU beds online in a surge situation when necessary.”

In Arizona, the state has set records for daily death counts about once a week, including Tuesday — the same day the state reported its lowest-ever number of ICU beds available.

“We need medical professionals. We need testing kits. We need supplies immediately,” Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said Tuesday. “Our hospital is already in dire straits, and they tell us in the next two weeks it is going to get to an unbearable level of crisis.”

California and Texas set grim records

California and Texas are among the states setting new records as well.

With nearly 6,000 patients Tuesday, California hospitalizations are at an all-time high. Tuesday saw a 3.4% increase in patients from the prior day.

The state also recorded it highest number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units, according to data from California Department of Public Health.

On Wednesday, 98 deaths were reported in Texas, a new daily record. The Lone Star State also reported 9,979 new COVID cases, one day after having its highest single-day increase, more than 10,000 cases. The total for the state is now more than 219,000 cases and more than 2,800 deaths.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that a testing site in Edinburg will offer 5,000 free tests a day between Wednesday and July 14 in an effort to increase testing in hot spots.

“This new surge testing site will help us identify and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the Rio Grande Valley and keep Texans safe,” Abbott said.

Massachusetts, too, will launch a testing initiative — Stop the Spread, beginning Friday and running through mid-August — that will target eight communities, including New Bedford, Chelsea and Lowell, which make up 27% of positive tests but only 9% of the population, Gov. Charlie Baker said. The initiative will include brick-and-mortar and mobile facilities.

‘Wear a mask. Period’

As of Monday, 35 states plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico had implemented some type of mask requirement order, and Fauci said he is “strongly in favor” of the mandates to curb the spread.

“When you look at what we can do that we know works, it’s the use of masks, physical distance and avoiding crowds,” Fauci said Tuesday. “So, if you’re saying it doesn’t matter whether you put it on or take it off, you’re giving a wrong, mixed signal. The signal should be: Wear a mask. Period.”

If most Americans heed that signal, as many as 45,000 fewer Americans will die of coronavirus this fall, according to Dr. Chris Murray, the director of the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).

The newest model, released Tuesday, projects as many as 208,000 coronavirus deaths by Nov. 1. The new death rate stems from the recent surge in cases combined with seasonality and schools reopening, Murray said.

But that number drops to 163,000 if most Americans wear a face mask, according to the model.

“It’s an incredibly simple strategy and intervention,” Murray said. “It’s one that will save lives, but it will also help the economy enormously because it will avoid shutdowns which will inevitably come when things get quickly out of control in some states.”

Stop the spread of COVID-19

To help stop the spread of the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend you keep 6 feet between yourself and others, in addition to wearing a mask.

Make sure to wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

For more tips on how to stay safe, CLICK HERE.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.