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U.S. COVID-19 death toll tops 170,000 deaths ahead of flu season

The United States surpassed 170,000 coronavirus deaths on Sunday, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University as health officials express concerns over COVID-19 complicating the fall flu season.

Deaths rose by 483 on Sunday, with Florida, Texas and Louisiana, leading the rise in fatalities.

The United States has at least 5.4 million confirmed cases in total of the novel coronavirus, the highest in the world and likely an undercount as the country still has not ramped up testing to the recommended levels. 

Cases are falling in most states except for Hawaii, South Dakota and Illinois.

Public health officials and authorities are concerned about a possible fall resurgence in cases amid the start of the flu season, which will likely exacerbate efforts to treat the coronavirus.

Centers for Disease Control Director Robert Redfield warned the United States may be in for its ‘worst fall’ if the public does not follow health guidelines in an interview with Web MD.

Months into the pandemic, the U.S. economic recovery from the recession triggered by the outbreak is still staggered, with some hot spots slowing their reopenings and others shutting down businesses.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation is anticipating an uptick in COVID-19 cases in the coming months, resulting in around 300,000 total deaths by December, and a nearly 75% increase in hospitalizations. The model predicts the death toll could hit 185,000 by September.

Worldwide there are at least 21.5 million coronavirus cases and over 765,000 confirmed deaths. 

The United States remains the global epicenter of the virus, with around a quarter of the cases and deaths. 

The U.S. added nearly 50,000 new cases of infection on Saturday, bringing its overall tally to 5.38 million, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Out of more than 772,000 deaths associated with the virus worldwide, about a fifth of them occurred in the U.S., the data showed. 

The CDC also notes that that the number and rate of cases in children in the U.S. has been steadily increasing from March to July.

In Arizona, new cases have declined considerably since July.

It’s a similar picture in Georgia with hospitalizations and positive test having declined over the past week. The state was among the first to reopen schools recently.  

New York, which was the epicenter of the virus at the start of the pandemic has seen the state’s count surpass 425,500. 

On Saturday, the state reported its lowest level of hospitalizations in five months, with 523 patients infected with coronavirus. 

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