A Sun Tran employee offers free masks to passengers to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the bus station in downtown Tucson, Arizona, USA. USA, June 20, 2020.
Cheney Orr | Reuters
The United States broke its record for the highest coronavirus cases recorded in a single day, with 36,358 new positives reported on Wednesday, according to an NBC News count.
Wednesday’s cases surpass the previous highest day count since April 26, the first peak of the pandemic in the United States, in 73 cases, according to NBC News tracking data. The World Health Organization saw its record for a single day on Sunday with more than 183,000 cases worldwide.
Health experts told NBC News on Monday that the resurgence of cases in the southern and western states dates back to Memorial Day, when many officials began to loosen lockouts and reopen businesses.
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Meanwhile, the northeast region has seen a significant decrease in cases as authorities in the area have maintained policies on social distancing and the use of face masks.
Visitors traveling from U.S. hot spots arriving in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will be asked to remain in quarantine for two weeks, the governors of those states announced Wednesday.
Unfortunately, as many states struggle to contain the virus after prematurely loosening restrictions, hospitals are overwhelmed by patients.
In Florida, where more than 109,000 cases have been reported, the capacity of adult intensive care units is only 21 percent, according to state data updated Wednesday. Arizona has only 12 percent of its beds available in the ICU, the state health department reported Tuesday.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, praised California’s response to the pandemic and compared the battle against the coronavirus to a social justice crusade.
“Californians have lived up to social issues so well in the past that you have been the nation’s leader in these things,” Fauci told the Sacramento Press Club on Wednesday.
“This is an issue that really has an associated social responsibility.”
Despite Fauci’s praise, California also had its highest coronavirus count in a single day on Wednesday. Another 7,149 reported cases brought the state’s total confirmed cases to 190,222.
Governor Gavin Newsom pleaded with Californians on Wednesday to continue using facial covers to try to stop the spread of the virus.
“You are not invincible since COVID-19,” Newsom said. “On the contrary, this is a disease that spreads easily, spreads very easily.”