The United States saw another record day for new coronavirus cases, surpassing 70,000 for the first time, according to an NBC News tally Friday.
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Sunbelt states experiencing surges including California, Florida, Texas and Georgia contributed to the record tally. California reported 7,798 new cases Friday, and state officials said they’re considering releasing about 8,000 inmates from a prison system battered by the virus.
In South Florida, NBC Miami reported hat seven area hospitals have no intensive care beds available as a result of being inundated with virus patients.
Texas reported 95 coronavirus-related deaths Friday as Gov. Greg Abbott warned that the state would revert to a “lockdown” if the numbers don’t improve and mask-wearing doesn’t become more widespread.
In Houston, the region’s 12 busiest hospitals are increasingly turning down new emergency room patients and have been using the space for coronavirus intensive care.
The three U.S. counties with the highest number of daily cases Friday are Los Angeles, Chicago’s Cook, the Phoenix area’s Maricopa, respectively, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.
Last week U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-New York, who chairs the House Oversight Committee, warned in a memo to the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus that personal protective equipment supplies were getting low.