The United States has officially gone over the 2 million mark in total cases of novel coronavirus infections.
According to figures published Thursday on the website of Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus resource center, the U.S. now has 2,000,464 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 112,924 deaths, maintaining its position as the leading country with the total number of cases and deaths.
As many as 21 states have recorded their highest number of COVID-19 cases this week, with many concentrated across the western and southwestern states of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Utah. The increases come amid a loosening of coronavirus restrictions in recent weeks, including the annual Memorial Day holiday that signals the start of the traditional summer vacation season.
The newest surge of infections has prompted local health officials in California to cancel the popular annual Coachella music and arts festival and the Stagecoach country music festival scheduled for October. Both outdoor festivals were originally scheduled to be held in April, but were postponed as the outbreak began spreading.
Experts also fear the ongoing nationwide protests sparked by the death of an African-American man in Minneapolis while in police custody will lead to another spike in coronavirus infections. Protesters have been captured on video walking shoulder-to-shoulder, although many of them were wearing masks.