As school districts across the country struggle to figure out how — or if— to safely reopen schools to teachers and students, the number of coronavirus cases in the US passed 5 million on Sunday, according to the Coronavirus Research Center at Johns Hopkins University. And according to a Washington Post analysis, the US hit the 5 million mark just 17 days after passing 4 million cases.
The US leads the world in the number of coronavirus cases, accounting for nearly a quarter of the 19.7 million cases worldwide. As of Sunday, Brazil was second with just over 3 million cases, followed by India at 2.1 million cases. And the US is at the top of another grim coronavirus list, according to Johns Hopkins, with more than 162,000 deaths.
While researchers at the University of Washington believe case counts may have peaked in many of the hardest-hit states, they’re now projecting that the number of coronavirus-related deaths in the US could hit 300,000 by December, NPR reported. New York, which was hard hit in the early days of the pandemic, has the most coronavirus deaths among US states, at more than 32,000, followed by New Jersey at almost 16,000 and California at more than 10,000 deaths, the Johns Hopkins data show.
On Saturday, President Trump signed four executive orders aimed at providing coronavirus relief, but it’s not clear whether they comply with the law. The US unemployment rate is currently at 10 percent.
The US reached 5 million cases the same day New Zealand announced it had gone 100 days with no new cases of domestic transmission of the coronavirus.