People wearing face masks wait in line to shop at Ikea in Carson, California on July 4, 2020 the US Independence Day holiday. — AFP/VNA Photo
WASHINGTON — The United States on Thursday set yet another record for new coronavirus cases with 68,428 infections recorded in 24 hours, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
In that period the death toll also climbed by 974 people, the Baltimore-based university's tracker showed at 8:30pm (0030 GMT Friday).
That brought the total death toll in the country since the pandemic began to 138,201, and the total number of cases to 3,560,364.
The US remains the hardest-hit country in the world in absolute terms.
Experts believe it never emerged from its first wave of infections, and cases have been surging again in recent weeks, particularly across the south and west in states that pushed to lift lockdown restrictions early.
Florida has emerged as the epicentre of the US outbreak, reporting a record 156 COVID-19 deaths on Thursday and nearly 14,000 new infections.
The total number of virus cases in the "Sunshine State" has now surpassed 315,000, and there have been 4,782 deaths, according to Florida Department of Health figures.
Florida is now reporting more COVID-19 cases daily than any other state in the country. California and Texas are next, with about 10,000 new cases a day each. — AFP