Record Coronavirus Deaths Reported in Texas and Florida

Texas and Florida both reported record high deaths from COVID-19 on Thursday, as states in the south and west of the U.S. continue to bear the brunt of the pandemic.

Florida reported 156 new coronavirus deaths and nearly 14,000 new cases on July 16, with fatalities from the disease in the state having increased significantly since the end of June and beginning of July, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

On July 1, the seven-day moving average of deaths in the state was 38, whereas on July 16 the figure was 95, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

The third most populous state in the country has now confirmed a total of more than 315,000 COVID-19 cases—behind only New York and California—and over 4,600 deaths.

Texas, meanwhile, reported 129 new deaths on Thursday, beating the previous record of 110 set the previous day, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

South Carolina also reported by far its largest number of new coronavirus deaths on Thursday, recording 72 deaths.

These figures come as the United States as a whole reported more than 77,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, shattering the previous daily record.

Overall deaths and cases in the U.S. have risen across July after steadily falling since late April, driven by increases across a wide range of states.

Reuters reported that cases in June rose by an average of around 28,000 per day, whereas in July the figure was more than 57,000.

States in the southern and western regions of the country are currently facing the biggest increase in cases. This contrasts with earlier in spring when the epicenter was the northeast, particularly New York.

coronavirus, miami
A receptionist of a restaurant wears a mask as she waits for customers on Ocean Drive in Miami Beach, Florida on July 14, 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic. CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images

On July 16, the U.S. reported more than 970 deaths—about half as much as the peak of the pandemic in April when the country was seeing an average of around 2,000 coronavirus deaths per day, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

The U.S. is the worst-hit country in the world, with more than 3.5 million confirmed cases and over 138,000 recorded deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government's top infectious disease expert, said during a Senate hearing at the end of June that he "would not be surprised" if new cases in the country reached 100,000 per day.

"I can't make an accurate prediction but it's going to be very disturbing," Fauci told senators.

Earlier this month, Fauci told FiveThirtyEight that partisanship in America could be making the response to the virus more difficult. The issue of wearing masks, in particular, has become controversial in the past months, with some people refusing to use them despite advice from experts.

Half of all U.S. states have now issued statewide mask mandates, with Alabama becoming the 25th to do so on Wednesday. However, some hard-hit states such as Florida and Arizona do not have statewide mask mandates.