Matthew Rocco in New York
The US has recorded more than 6m confirmed cases of Covid-19, though outbreaks in the sunbelt are subsiding. The milestone was met on Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University, which tracks data in real time.
The US has confirmed more positive tests for Covid-19 than any other country, with Brazil holding the second-highest count at about 3.9m.
California has become the first US state to record more than 700,000 confirmed cases, although the number of new cases posted on Monday was the lowest in more than 10 weeks. The state’s health department reported 4,176 additional infections, bringing California’s total since the pandemic began to 704,085.
There have been 12,933 deaths attributed to the virus, up 28 on the previous day. The data mark the smallest one-day increase in Covid-19 cases in California since June 20, even as the state processed the highest number of tests in more than two weeks. Infection rates are also down to their lowest levels in over two months.
Florida recorded its smallest number of new Covid-19 cases since the middle of June, keeping the state on track to slash its monthly infection total by more than half in August. The state’s health department said on Monday there were 1,885 cases confirmed in the last 24-hour period.
Restaurants in New Jersey, such as this Matawan eatery, have been take-out and delivery only since March © Reuters
It was the lowest level of new infections since June 15, and Florida has not consistently reported fewer than 2,000 daily cases since early that month.
Texas tallied its smallest increase in cases since the wave began in the middle of June. The state’s health department said there were 2,374 new infections in the last 24 hours. That tally did not include 241 cases that were confirmed out of a backlog in data. Those cases were included in the cumulative total, which rose to 612,969.
New Jersey is set to reopen theatres and allow restaurants to resume indoor dining for the first time since March. Governor Phil Murphy announced on Monday that restaurants will be able to serve patrons indoors beginning on Friday – just in time for the Labor Day holiday.
Indoor dining capacity will be capped at 25 per cent of occupancy “with social distancing between tables”, Mr Murphy said.