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Record spikes in U.S. coronavirus cases push up hospitalization rates in 16 states

A waiter wearing a protective face shield and mask serves customers at a Third Street Promenade restaurant on June 21, 2020 in Santa Monica, California.

David Livingston | Getty Images

The U.S. reported more than 34,400 coronavirus cases on Wednesday, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins University data, after health officials in California, Florida and Texas all reported record-high single-day spikes.

As of Wednesday, the nation’s seven-day average of daily new Covid-19 cases was 31,172. This number has increased more than 34% compared with a week ago, according to the analysis of Johns Hopkins data. Cases are growing by 5% or more in 31 states across the U.S., including Arizona, Florida, Texas and California. 

Twelve states hit record highs in daily new cases on Wednesday based on their seven-day average, the analysis found. They include Arizona, Arkansas, California and Florida. Arizona also hit a record high in average daily new deaths with a seven-day average of nearly 31 new lives lost.

Coronavirus hospitalizations, like new cases and deaths, are an important measure of the outbreak as it helps health officials gauge how severe it may be.  

Hospitalizations from Covid-19 are also rising in 16 states as of Wednesday, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by the Covid Tracking Project. 

Some states are hitting new highs every week as the number of cases continues to rise at an alarming rate. While some of these surges can be attributed to increases in testing, hospitalizations from Covid-19 have also grown substantially. 

The California Department of Public Health reported its second straight record jump in coronavirus cases on Wednesday, adding 7,149 new cases. The previous highest spike in daily new cases was 5,019, reported on Tuesday by the state’s department of health.

“We cannot continue to do what we have done over the last number of weeks. Many of us understandably developed a little cabin fever, some I would argue developed a little amnesia, others have frankly taken down their guard,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a press briefing Wednesday.

As of June 24, the state is seeing a seven-day average of nearly 4,732 daily new cases, according to Johns Hopkins data. This number has increased by more than 43% compared with a week ago.

About 4,814 people are hospitalized in California based on a seven-day moving average, which is almost a 9% increase compared with a week ago, according to Covid Tracking Project data.

While Newsom said the state administered a record number of tests, nearly 96,000 in the last 24 hours, the positivity rate of these tests has slightly increased in the last two weeks, sitting at 5.1% on a 14-day average. 

Florida health officials also reported another record single-day surge in coronavirus cases on Wednesday. The state’s Department of Health added 5,508 new cases, bringing the total to 109,014. The previous record single-day jump in new cases was 4,094 reported on Saturday by the state. 

As of Wednesday, Florida is seeing a seven-day average of 3,756 new cases, which is about a 71% increase compared with a week ago, according to Johns Hopkins.

In addition to the rise in cases, the percentage of positive test results is also growing, indicating that the surge is not due to ramped-up testing. The state’s health department reported that 15.91% of all tests came back positive Wednesday, up from 10.82% the day before. 

While Florida has been reporting an increase in the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases for the past few weeks, Gov. Ron DeSantis said last week that the state would not reimplement more restrictions to mitigate the spread of the virus. However, on Thursday he said the state had no plans to ease additional restrictions. 

On Wednesday, Texas health officials said they added 5,551 new cases, setting a new record single-day increase in coronavirus cases. The previous highest spike in daily new cases was 5,489 reported on Tuesday by the state’s health department.

Texas is averaging 4,347 new cases per day over the past seven days, which is about an 80% increase since one week ago, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

In an interview with TV station KBTX in San Antonio on Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott urged residents to wear a mask and practice social distancing to prevent infection. 

“The hospitalization rate is at an all-time high. Coronavirus is spreading in Brazos County and across the entire state of Texas, which is exactly why action is being taken,” he said. “The safest place for you is at your home.”

Then, on Thursday, Abbott paused the state’s reopening plans and ordered hospital officials in four hard-hit counties to halt elective surgeries. 

There are 3,563 people hospitalized in Texas based on a seven-day moving average, which is nearly a 53% increase compared with a week ago, according to Covid Tracking Project data. 

— CNBC’s Nate RattnerNick WellsWilliam Feuer and Noah Higgins-Dunn contributed to this report. 

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