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Cases on the Rise

BUSY STREET Groups of people on Ocean Drive in Miami Beach, Florida, on July 3. CLIFF HAWKINS—GETTY IMAGES

COVID-19 infections continue to rise in the United States. At press time, almost 3 million cases have been confirmed in the U.S. According to Johns Hopkins University, 50,000 new daily cases were confirmed across the country on July 1, and 41 out of 50 states are seeing a rise in such cases. This is a record high.

Sunbelt states were hit hardest. These include Florida, Texas, and California. They reopened earlier or faster than other states. Over the July 4 holiday weekend, Florida set a record, with 11,400 new cases in one day. California and Texas saw a rise in hospitalizations related to COVID-19.

Health officials worry that July 4 celebrations are leading to even more infections. “We set a record for highs over the holiday weekend,” said Alabama health officer Scott Harris. “Given the number of people who were out and about over the weekend celebrating, we are certainly concerned about what the next couple of weeks are going to look like as well.”

Elected leaders are updating health rules and warning citizens to remain alert. Carlos A. Gimenez is the mayor of Miami-Dade County, in Florida. On Monday, he made plans to suspend indoor dining at restaurants. Beaches in Miami were closed over the weekend, although Gimenez reopened them today. “But if we see crowding and people not following the public health rules, I will be forced to close the beaches again,” he said.

Jim Justice is the governor of West Virginia. He has ordered nearly all people in his state to wear masks at indoor public spaces. “I’m telling you, West Virginia, if we don’t do that and do this now, we’re going to be in a world of hurt,” he warned. “It’s not much of an inconvenience.”

Protect and Prevent

The best ways to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus are to practice good hygiene and social distancing, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Wash hands often, with soap and water for 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Wearing a mask that covers your mouth and nose can also help prevent the spread of disease. So can avoiding large crowds and keeping your distance from others.