Medical workers from New York wearing personal protective equipments test for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at temporary testing site for COVID-19 in Higher Dimensions Church on July 17, 2020 in Houston, Texas.

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The U.S. reported 71,558 new Covid-19 cases Saturday, making it the second day in a row the nation seen more than 70,000 new infections, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

As of Saturday, the 7-day average has seen a 18.34% increase in new cases compared to one week ago.

The U.S. leads the world in reported cases with a total of 3.66 million total since Covid-19 hit. To date, 139,480 deaths from the virus have been reported in the U.S., the most fatalities of any nation in the world. 

Nineteen states hit their own record highs in average daily new cases, with most seeing a more than 25% increase. As nearly all 50 states see increases in new cases, hospitalizations are growing in 33 states with 14 states hitting record highs in average current hospitalizations. 

Florida reported 10,292 new cases and 90 more deaths Saturday, according to data from the state health department. Twelve percent of Floridians tested came back positive for the virus Friday, down from a recent high of 18%.

Texas reported 10,256 new cases, according to its health department. More than 17% of Texans tested came back positive for the virus as of Thursday.

Texas and Florida are major centers of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. The virus has surged since the spring after states in the Sunbelt started rapidly reopening their economies after brief lockdowns. Last Sunday, Florida reported more than 15,000 new cases, more than New York at its peak in April.

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The U.S. hit a nationwide record on Thursday, with 77,255 new cases. White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci on Friday praised New York for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, amid a debate in the U.S. about whether states where the virus is surging should revert to stricter lockdown measures. 

New York, once the epicenter of the outbreak in the United States, has reduced daily new infections from more than 10,000 at its peak to 776 as of this late this week. New York City is scheduled to enter phase 4 on Monday, allowing outdoor activities like zoos, outdoor films and gardens.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo implemented one of the strictest lockdowns in the country. Bars and indoor dining still haven’t reopened in New York City as a precautionary measure. Governors in hotspot states like Arizona, Florida, Texas and Georgia have been reluctant to implement strict social distancing measures.

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Via CNBC