US COVID-19 CASES RISING AT NEAR-RECORD RATE
The number of new coronavirus cases per day in the U.S. stood near an all-time high Thursday, hovering close to the peak reached in late April during some of the darkest and deadliest days of the crisis, Jennifer Peltz and Elaine Kurtenbach reported for the Associated Press (AP) on June 26, 2020.
While greatly expanded testing probably accounts for some of the increase, experts say other measures indicate the virus is making a comeback. Daily deaths, hospitalizations and the percentage of tests that are coming back positive for the virus have also been rising over the past few weeks in parts of the country. The 34,300 COVID-19 cases recorded Wednesday were slightly fewer than the day before, but still near the high of 36,400 reached on April 24, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
As the virus rises again in the US and other parts of the world, some governments and businesses imposed new restrictions only weeks after lifting shutdowns, even as other areas loosened up. “There are no magic answers. There are no spells here. You can’t divine this away,” World Health Organization (WHO) emergencies chief Dr. Michael Ryan said. “We have to act at every level.”
In the US, where governors and other politicians have tried to strike a balance between the health risks and the threat to the economy, the number of workers applying for unemployment benefits last week declined slightly to 1.48 million, indicating layoffs are slowing but are still painfully high.