(CNN)Coronavirus deaths in the US topped 1,000 four days in a row last week amid ongoing debates on the return of school and mask mandates.
The country recorded 900 new virus-related deaths Saturday, down from the 1,130 reported Friday. Since the beginning of the pandemic, at least 146,460 Americans have died from the virus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
And models project that there will be up to 175,000 deaths linked to the virus by August 15, according to an ensemble forecast published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation projects there will be around 165,000 US deaths by that time.
The grim patterns come as several states have reported record-breaking numbers of new cases and deaths in the past weeks. Some local leaders, including Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, have mentioned the possibility of a second stay-at-home order as officials warn of strained testing labs and overwhelmed hospitals.
And on Thursday, more than 150 prominent medical experts, scientists, teachers, nurses and other experts signed a letter urging leaders to shut the country down and start over to contain the rampant spread of the virus.
“Right now, we are on a path to lose more than 200,000 American lives by November 1st. Yet, in many states people can drink in bars, get a haircut, eat inside a restaurant, get a tattoo, get a massage, and do myriad other normal, pleasant, but non-essential activities,” the letter read, which was sent to the Trump administration, members of Congress and state governors.
In the past two days, these states broke records:
As the country’s caseload and death toll climbs, at least four states reported record-breaking numbers since Friday.
California, which is leading the nation with the most recorded coronavirus cases, reported 159 deaths linked to the virus Friday — the highest number recorded in a single day since the start of the pandemic. That number comes just a day after the state’s previous daily record of 157 deaths. More than half of all virus-related deaths in the state come from Los Angeles County, where more than 4,260 deaths have been reported. The state has had more than 446,450 reported infections, according to Johns Hopkins.
Georgia also broke a new single-day record Friday, reporting at least 4,813 new coronavirus cases. Health officials reported 3,787 new cases Saturday. More than 165,180 people have tested positive in the state, according to Johns Hopkins.
Oregon reported nine new coronavirus-related deaths Friday, breaking its record for most reported fatalities in a single day since the pandemic began. Those deaths were recorded in people aged 61 years or older. Health officials in the state reported 396 new cases, bringing the state’s total to more than 16,100.
For the second day in a row, Hawaii reported a record number of new cases, identifying 60 new positive tests Friday, according to health officials. On Thursday, Hawaii reported 55 new cases. Hawaii has had at least 1,620 reported infections, according to Johns Hopkins.
“Some of the cases we’re reporting today are associated with existing clusters, known cases and household spread, but others are new, unassociated cases that indicate increasing community spread,” Health Director Bruce Anderson said in a statement.
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