The number of coronavirus cases in the United States exceeds 1.5 million and infections are increasing in certain southern states

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(Reuters) – The number of COVID-19 cases in the United States exceeded 1.5 million on Monday, as the total number of deaths caused by the new coronavirus approached 90,000, according to a Reuters tally of state figures and counties.

FILE PHOTO: People try to keep a social distance while enjoying a hot day during the epidemic of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Domino Park in Brooklyn, New York, United States, on May 16, 2020. REUTERS / Eduardo Munoz / File Photo

Most US states reported a decline in the number of new respiratory illnesses for the week ended May 17, with just 13 states having seen an increase in infections from the previous week, according to a separate analysis from Reuters.

Tennessee saw the largest weekly increase with 33%. New cases in Louisiana increased by 25% and Texas reported 22% more cases than in the first week of May, according to Reuters analysis of data from The COVID Tracking Project, an effort led by volunteers to monitor the epidemic.

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Michigan saw new cases increase 18% after five weeks of decline. Michigan was hit hard at the start of the epidemic, killing more than 4,800 people.

Nationally, new COVID-19 cases have dropped 8% in the past week, helped by continued declines in New York and New Jersey. However, almost all 50 states have allowed some businesses to reopen and residents to move more freely, raising concerns for some health officials about a second wave of epidemics.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that states wait until their daily number of new cases of COVID-19 decreases for 14 days before relaxing the social distancing restrictions.

As of May 17, 13 states had met these criteria, up from 14 states the previous week, according to Reuters analysis.

OERE FALLS NEW CASES

Kansas and Missouri recorded the largest declines in new cases from the previous week, after an epidemic at a meat packing plant in St. Joseph, Missouri, resulted in more than 400 cases during the first week of May. St. Joseph sits on the border of Kansas and Missouri, just north of Kansas City.

Washington D.C. saw a 32% drop after several weeks of growth.

Georgia, one of the first states to reopen, has seen new cases drop 12% in the past week and now has two consecutive weeks of cases down.

Globally, coronavirus cases have exceeded 4.5 million since the start of the epidemic in China at the end of last year. Per capita, the United States has the third highest number of cases, with around 45 per 10,000 people, according to Reuters analysis.

Report by Chris Canipe in Kansas City, Missouri, and Lisa Shumaker in Chicago

Our standards:Principles of the Thomson Reuters Trust.

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