The United States broke its daily record for COVID-19 infections on Thursday with 54,437, surpassing 50,000 for the first time and bringing the total number of cases in the world’s hardest-hit country to 2,732,639.

The balance at 00.00 GMT on Friday also increases the number of deaths to 128,651 after adding 623 in the last 24 hours, according to the independent count of Johns Hopkins University.

The average number of new cases per day reached 50,000 after breaking through the 40,000 barrier just a week ago brought on by the upsurge in contagion in southern and western states such as Florida, Texas, California, Arizona, Georgia and the Carolinas.

New York, however, still remains the state hardest hit in the country by the pandemic with 394,954 confirmed cases and 32,064 deaths, just below Brazil, the United Kingdom and Italy. In New York City alone, 23,123 people have died.

New York is followed by neighboring New Jersey with 15,107 deaths, Massachusetts with 8,132 and Illinois with 6,951. Other states with large numbers of deaths are Pennsylvania with 6,712, Michigan with 6,212, California with 6,195 or Connecticut with 4,326.

In terms of infections, California is second only to New York with 242,856.

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