The Christ the Redeemer statue is lit up with a message that reads in Portuguese; "More than 500 thousand lives world" in reference to the people who have died from COVID-19 worldwide, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, July 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
A face mask covers the mouth and nose of one of the iconic lion statues in front of the New York Public Library Main Branch on Wednesday, July 1, 2020, in New York, amid the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)
South Korean army soldiers spray disinfectant to help reduce the spread of the new coronavirus in a class at Cheondong elementary school in Daejeon, South Korea, Thursday, July 2, 2020. South Korea reported dozens of new cases as the virus continues to spread beyond the capital area and reach cities like Gwangju, which has shut schools and tightened social restrictions after dozens were found infected this week. (Kim Jun-beom/Yonhap via AP)
People wearing a protective face mask to help curb the spread of the coronavirus walk in Tokyo Thursday, July 2, 2020. Japan lifted a seven-week pandemic state emergency in late May, and social and business activity have since largely resumed. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Alina Ghirean, 36 years old, wears face mask to prevent the coronavirus pulls her trolley after receiving a pack of foods from charity foundation Caritas, to last the next two weeks, in Estella, around 38 kms (23, 61 miles) from Pamplona, northern Spain, Wednesday, July 1, 2020. Spain is beginning to suffer an economic crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic.(AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)
A waitress wearing a mask and face shield to curb the spread of the new coronavirus brings order for a patron at the "Sanborns of the Azulejos" restaurant in Mexico City, Wednesday, July 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
A girl throws water to a friend as they play under in the rain in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, July 1, 2020. (AP Photo / Ramon Espinosa)
Salon owner Sian Rose Maclaren sticks a sign in the front window showing the seated waiting area will not be in use, whilst trying out the masks and face shields they intend to wear, as they prepare to reopen at a franchise branch of the Headmasters group of hairdressing salons, in Surbiton, south west London, Thursday, July 2, 2020. Millions of people in Britain will be able to go to the pub, visit a movie theater, get a haircut or attend a religious service starting July 4, in a major loosening of coronavirus lockdown restrictions. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Health workers walks back after conducting a free medical checkup at residential building in Mumbai, India, Thursday, July 2, 2020. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a live address Tuesday that the country's coronavirus death rate is under control, but that the country is at a "critical juncture." But since the lockdown was lifted, the caseload has shot up, making India the world's fourth-worst affected country. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
People wearing masks to curb the spread of the new coronavirus wait for businesses to open in downtown Lima, Peru, Wednesday, July 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
A dine-in customer looks at a menu next to a dining booth taped off for social distancing at Mariscos Linda restaurant, Wednesday, July 1, 2020, in Los Angeles. California Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered a three-week closure of bars and indoor operations of restaurants certain other businesses in Los Angeles and 18 other counties. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus pass by a newly weds kissing as they posing for wedding photos at the Olympic Forest Park in Beijing, Thursday, July 2, 2020. China reported three new cases of coronavirus, including just one case of local transmission in the capital Beijing, appearing to put the country where the virus was first detected late last year on course to eradicating it domestically, at least temporarily. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Doctors and hospital staff stand inside a blood plasma bank that was inaugurated Thursday in New Delhi, India, Thursday, July 2, 2020. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a live address Tuesday that the country's coronavirus death rate is under control, but that the country is at a “critical juncture.” But since the lockdown was lifted, the caseload has shot up, making India the world's fourth-worst affected country. (AP Photo/Shonal Ganguly)
A social distancing sign is displayed as the lead bottom of the Great Bath is cleaned at the Roman Baths in Bath, England, Thursday July 2, 2020, making final preparations ahead of reopening to members of the public on Monday as further coronavirus lockdown restrictions are lifted in England. (Ben Birchall/PA via AP)
Health workers arrive in a lift to conduct a free medical checkup at residential building in Mumbai, India, Thursday, July 2, 2020. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a live address Tuesday that the country's coronavirus death rate is under control, but that the country is at a "critical juncture." But since the lockdown was lifted, the caseload has shot up, making India the world's fourth-worst affected country. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
Patrons eat lunch at Slater's 50/50 Wednesday, July 1, 2020, in Santa Clarita, Calif. California Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered a three-week closure of bars, indoor dining and indoor operations of several other types of businesses in various counties, including Los Angeles, as the state deals with increasing coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. climbed to an all-time high of more than 50,000 per day on Thursday, with the infection curve rising in 40 out of 50 states in a reversal that has largely spared only the Northeast.
In yet another alarming indicator, 36 states are seeing a rise in the percentage of tests that are coming back positive for the virus.
The surge has been blamed in part on Americans not wearing masks or following other social distancing rules as states lifted their lockdowns over the past few weeks.
The U.S. recorded 50,700 new cases, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. That represents a doubling of the daily total over the past month and is higher even than what the country witnessed during the deadliest phase of the crisis in April and May.
All but 10 states are showing an increase in newly confirmed cases over the past 14 days, according to data compiled by the COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer organization that collects testing information. The outbreaks are most severe in Arizona, Texas and Florida, which together with California have re-closed or otherwise clamped back down on bars, restaurants and movie theaters.
Nebraska and South Dakota were the only states outside the Northeast with a downward trend in cases.
While some of the increases may be explained in part by expanded testing, other indicators are grim, too, including hospitalizations and positive test rates. Over the past two weeks, the percentage of positive tests in Georgia, Kansas and Tennessee has doubled. In Idaho and Nevada, it has tripled.
The surge in cases comes as Americans head into a Fourth of July holiday weekend that health officials warn could add fuel to the virus by drawing big crowds. Many municipalities have canceled fireworks displays. Beaches up and down California and Florida have been closed.
Florida reported more than 10,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases for the first time Thursday. That is six times higher than the daily count of less than a month ago. The state also reported 67 deaths for the second time in a week. Deaths per day are up about 30 percent from two weeks ago.
Meanwhile, the government reported that U.S. unemployment fell to 11.1% in June as the economy added a solid 4.8 million jobs. But the data was collected during the second week of June, before many states began to backtrack on restarting their economies.
Several Northeastern states have seen new infections slow down significantly, including New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Jersey, which allowed its Atlantic City casinos to reopen Thursday, though with no smoking, no drinking and no eating.
President Donald Trump on Wednesday seemed confident the virus would soon subside, telling Fox Business: “I think that, at some point, that’s going to sort of just disappear, I hope.”
The U.S. has reported at least 2.7 million cases and more than 128,000 dead, the highest toll in the world. Globally there have been 10.7 million confirmed cases and more than 516,000 dead, according to Johns Hopkins’ count. The true toll is believed to be significantly higher, in part because of limited testing and mild cases that have been missed.
Other countries are also reporting record numbers of cases.
South Africa recorded more than 8,100 new cases, a one-day record. The country has the most cases in Africa, more than 159,000, as it loosens what had been one of the world’s strictest lockdowns.
“We have now entered a new and treacherous phase in the life cycle of this pandemic,” South African President Cyril Ramaphosa warned in a broadcast to the nation.
India, the world’s second-most populous country with more than 1.3 billion people, surpassed 600,000 infections on Thursday after over 19,000 new cases were reported. India has reported nearly 100,000 new cases in the past four days alone.
Many industries and businesses have reopened across India, though schools, colleges and movie theaters are still closed.
On the medical front, the World Health Organization said that smoking is linked to a higher risk of severe illness and death from the coronavirus in hospitalized patients, although it was unable to specify exactly how much greater the danger might be.