July 14, 2020 / 11:12 AM / 23 days ago

Where COVID-19 is spreading fastest in the United States

(Reuters) - The United States reported over 400,000 new COVID-19 cases for the week ended July 12, up 21% from the previous seven days, and deaths linked to the respiratory disease rose nationally last week for the first time since mid-April.

FILE PHOTO: The "Fearless Girl" statue is seen outside the New York Stock Exchange following the trading session after the building opened for the first time since March while the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., May 26, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

More than 5,000 people died from COVID-19 from July 6 to July 12, up 46% from the prior week, according to a Reuters analysis of data from The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer-run effort to track the outbreak.

About a dozen states have reported increases in deaths for at least two straight weeks, including California, Florida and Texas. (Open tmsnrt.rs/2WTOZDR in an external browser for a Reuters interactive)

Testing for COVID-19 rose by 7.4% in the United States last week and set a new record high on July 10, with over 823,000 tests performed, the Reuters analysis found.

Nationally, 8.8% of tests came back positive for the novel coronavirus, up from 7.5% the prior week and 5% three weeks ago.

The World Health Organization considers a positivity rate above 5% to be a cause for concern 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 27%, South Carolina at 19% and Florida at 19%.

(GRAPHIC: Tracking the novel coronavirus in the U.S. - here)

Nationally, new COVID-19 cases have risen every week for six straight weeks. Forty-six states reported more new cases of COVID-19 last week compared to the previous week, the analysis found. Cases are only falling on a weekly basis in New York, Tennessee, New Jersey and Delaware.

Many states have temporarily halted the reopening of their economies or ordered some businesses to close.

While Southern and Western states are seeing the biggest increase in cases, infections are also rising in the Midwest with Minnesota cases up 60%, Missouri up 40% and Iowa up 30%.

(Graphic: World-focused tracker with country-by-country interactive - here)

Reporting by Chris Canipe in Kansas City, Missouri, and Lisa Shumaker in Chicago; Additional reporting by Samuel Hart; Editing by Tiffany Wu

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