US coronavirus cases surpass 5,000, up fivefold from a week ago


The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases surpassed 5,000 in the United States on Tuesday, increasing fivefold over seven days as states ramp up testing and the new flu-like coronavirus sweeps across the country.

People arrive at a testing facility for coronavirus (COVID-19) in Jones Beach on Long Island in New York, U.S., March 17, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Across the country, the virus has infected more than 5,145 and killed at least 91 people as of noon Tuesday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Globally, the virus has infected more than 189,386 people and killed at least 7,504, according to Hopkins. The number of cases changes by the minute as test results roll in and countries and U.S. states expand their testing capacity.

U.S. officials confirmed the virus had infected more than 1,000 people in the U.S. a week ago. Due to restraints on U.S. testing capacity and nationwide screening for the virus, state and local officials have acknowledged that the true number of cases in the country is likely much higher.

New York’s “numbers are spiking because our testing capacity is going up,” Cuomo said last week.

Almost half of all confirmed U.S. cases are concentrated in three states: Washington, California and New York.

The virus has now been reported in every state except for West Virginia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The West Virginia department of health says it has tested 84 people for the virus, though that does not include tests run by commercial labs and some hospitals that are increasingly equipped to screen for the virus.

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