US sets COVID-19 death record for second week, cases surge
The United States lost more than 22,000 lives to COVID-19 last week, setting a record for the second week in a row, as new cases also hit a weekly high.
California was the state with the most deaths at 3,315 in the week ended Jan. 10, or about eight out of every 100,000 people, up 44% from the prior week, according to a Reuters analysis of state and county reports.
Arizona had the highest death rate per capita at 15 per 100,000 residents, followed by Rhode Island at 13 and West Virginia at 12 deaths per 100,000 people.
On average, COVID-19 killed 3,239 people per day in the United States last week, more than the number killed by the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.
Cumulatively, nearly 375,000 people in the country have died from the novel coronavirus, or one in every 873 residents. The total could rise to more than 567,000 by April 1, according to a forecast.
The US reported more than 1.7 million new cases of COVID-19 last week, up 17% from the prior seven days. Former U.S. Food and Drug Administration chief Scott Gottleib said new cases could start declining in February.
“By the end of this month, we’ll have infected probably about 30% of the American public and maybe vaccinated another 10%, notwithstanding the very difficult rollout of the vaccine,” Gottleib told CNBC on Friday. “You’re starting to get to levels of prior exposure in the population where the virus isn’t going to spread as readily.”
Across the US, 13.4% of tests came back positive for the virus, down from 13.6% the prior week, according to data from the volunteer-run COVID Tracking Project. The highest rates were in Iowa at 59%, Idaho at 54% and Alabama at 45%.
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