By Chris Canipe and Lisa Shumaker
(Reuters) – The United States saw a 25% increase in new cases of COVID-19 in the week ended June 21 compared to the previous seven days, with Arizona, Florida and Texas experiencing record surges in new infections, a Reuters analysis found.
Twenty-five U.S. states reported more new cases last week than the previous week, including 10 states that saw weekly new infections rise more than 50%, and 12 states that posted new records, according to the analysis of data from The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer-run effort to track the outbreak.
Texas reported one of the largest rises in new cases at 24,000 for the week ended June 21, an increase of 84% from the previous week. The number of COVID-19 tests that came back positive in the state rose to 10%, from 7%.
New cases in Florida rose 87% last week to almost 22,000, with the state’s positive test rate nearly doubling to 11%.
Arizona reported 17,000 new cases, a 90% increase, with 20% of tests coming back positive, according to the analysis.
The governors of all three states have attributed the increases in new cases to more testing, and to younger residents not following social distancing guidelines. Some health experts have criticized these states for reopening too quickly without adequate restrictions, for instance not making it mandatory to wear masks in public.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended states wait for new COVID-19 cases to fall for 14 days before easing social distancing restrictions.
Thirteen states and the District of Columbia are in compliance with that guideline, the analysis showed, down from 17 states the prior week. New York leads with 10 straight weeks of declines, followed by Rhode Island, Illinois and Washington, D.C.
Nationally, the number of new COVID-19 cases had been falling on a weekly basis through May. Last week’s 25% jump came after a 1% rise in the second week of June and a 3% increase in the first week of June.
Reporting by Chris Canipe in Kansas City, Missouri, and Lisa Shumaker in Chicago; Editing by Tiffany Wu.