The United States reported nearly 37,000 coronavirus cases nationwide Wednesday — the highest daily toll yet — as much of the U.S. South and West barreled toward a new and deadlier phase of the pandemic. Florida, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas all confirmed record numbers of new COVID-19 cases, with infections increasing in 29 states.
In Houston, the Texas Medical Center reports 97% of its intensive care unit beds are full. Officials are planning to convert standard hospital beds into ICUs, many of them staffed by medical workers who don’t have experience treating critical care patients.
California hit a record-high 7,000 new cases Tuesday, as Governor Gavin Newsom warned residents to follow mandatory mask use and social distancing requirements or face a new round of lockdowns. Disneyland, in Southern California, said it has abandoned plans to reopen the theme park on July 17, while organizers of the New York City Marathon have canceled plans for November’s race.
Meanwhile, the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut issued a travel advisory warning people arriving from states with high rates of coronavirus to quarantine for 14 days or face heavy fines. In March, New York Governor Cuomo threatened to sue Rhode Island when it imposed similar limits on New Yorkers.