By MORGAN WINSOR, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — The United States has marked another grim milestone in its fight against the novel coronavirus.
More than two million cases of COVID-19 have now been diagnosed in the country, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University. Over 533,000 of those patients have recovered from the highly contagious illness, while at least 112,924 have died.
The United States is, by far, the hardest-hit country in the world amid the coronavirus pandemic. New York has the highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths of any U.S. state.
An ABC News analysis has found that at least eight states across the country — including Arizona, Arkansas, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah — are experiencing an increase in coronavirus-related hospitalizations since May 25. Public health officials or local experts in many of the states told ABC News they consider the increases to be related to a reopening of the economy or a disregard of social distancing guidelines, including not wearing masks.
The increases in hospitalizations also come nearly two weeks after Memorial Day weekend, when some people were seen flouting social distancing rules at crowded bars and packed pool parties, which experts said is most likely contributing to the spikes. It is likely too early to gauge the impact of nationwide protests and civil unrest, according to experts.
Since emerging in China back in December, the novel coronavirus has rapidly spread to every continent except Antarctica. Globally, more than 7.3 million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and over 416,000 of them have died.
The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding the scope of their nations’ outbreaks.
Brazil has the second-highest number of diagnosed COVID-19 cases with more than 772,000. However, the United Kingdom maintains the second-highest number of COVID-19 deaths with more than 41,000.
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