Daily new coronavirus infections in the U.S. surged to their highest level since late July, approaching numbers seen during the outbreak’s midsummer peak.
The increase comes after the U.S. government on Friday gave some of the first specific information about how it will handle vaccine distribution, targeting vulnerable populations under long-term care.
The country reported more than 69,000 new cases Friday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, up from 63,610 a day earlier and the most since July 29. The U.S. has now reported more than 8.05 million cases, with more than 218,000 dead.
World-wide, more than 39 million people have been infected and more than 1.1 million have died, according to Johns Hopkins’s data.
The seven-day moving average of daily new cases in the U.S., which helps smooth irregularities in the data, was 53,405 on Thursday, and the 14-day average was 50,137. When the seven-day average is higher than the 14-day average, as it has been in the U.S. since Oct. 5, it suggests cases are rising.