July 21, 2020 / 11:04 AM / 23 days ago

Graphic: U.S. COVID-19 deaths rise for second week in a row

FILE PHOTO: Residents, including the Ramos family from Chihuahua, Mexico, who have been affected by the economic fallout caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, hold groceries distributed by the Houston Food Bank in Houston, Texas, U.S., July 18, 2020. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

(Reuters) - U.S. deaths from COVID-19 rose for a second week in a row to more than 5,200 people in the week ended July 19, up 5% from the previous seven days, a Reuters analysis found.

The country reported over 460,000 new coronavirus cases last week, up nearly 15% from the prior week, according to the analysis of data from The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer-run effort to track the outbreak.

Nineteen states have reported increases in deaths for at least two straight weeks, including, Arizona, Florida and Texas. (Open here in an external browser for a Reuters interactive)

Testing for COVID-19 rose by 9% in the United States last week and set a new record high on Friday, with over 850,000 tests performed, the Reuters analysis found.

Nationally, 8.5% of tests came back positive for the novel coronavirus, down from 8.8% the prior week but still higher than the 5% level that the World Health Organization considers concerning because it suggests there are more cases in the community that have not yet been uncovered.

Thirty-one states had positivity test rates above 5%, according to the analysis, including Arizona at 24%, Florida and Nevada at 19%, and Idaho and Alabama at 18%.

Nationally, new COVID-19 cases have risen for seven straight weeks. Forty-three states reported more new cases of COVID-19 last week compared to the previous week, the analysis found.

For the first time since April, cases rose in New York State week over week, breaking a 13-week streak of declines. New Jersey now leads the nation with cases falling for two weeks in a row. The other six states have only seen cases decline for one week.

Reporting by Lisa Shumaker in Chicago; Graphic by Chris Canipe in Kansas City, Missouri; Editing by Tiffany Wu

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