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US coronavirus cases surpass 10,000, doubling in two days

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States surpassed 10,000 on Thursday, doubling over two days as states ramp up testing and the coronavirus sweeps across the country.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday morning that the state confirmed 1,769 new cases in the last day, bringing the number of confirmed cases in New York to 4,152 and pushing the total number of confirmed COVID-19 infections in the U.S. to 10,755, according to Johns Hopkins University. COVID-19 has now killed at least 154 people in the U.S., according to Hopkins.

The number of actual cases in the country is likely significantly higher, state and local officials say. Testing in the U.S. has been hampered by delays and a restrictive diagnostic criteria that limited who could get tested. 

On March 1, there were roughly 100 confirmed cases of the rapidly spreading virus in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By March 10, 1,039 cases had been confirmed, according to Hopkins. 

Almost half of all confirmed U.S. cases are concentrated in three states: Washington, California and New York. New York has more cases than any other state, Cuomo said Thursday.

Local and state officials have adopted what Cuomo earlier this week called a “hodgepodge” of actions across the nation to contain the outbreak. Cuomo and other tri-state area officials on Monday banned all gatherings of 50 or more people and placed restrictions on restaurants, bars and other places of recreation. Pennsylvania joined in issuing identical restrictions on Thursday, Cuomo said.

Governors in Maryland and Washington state, which has the second-highest number of cases behind New York but the nation’s most deaths, also adopted similar actions this week. 

San Francisco Bay area officials ordered some 7 million residents to “shelter in place” on Monday, marking what might be the most aggressive and restrictive measures in the country yet. 

“Never since World War II have we faced a situation like this,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said when announcing new social distancing policies in his state earlier this week. “For the next several weeks, normal is not in our game plan.” 

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