US records nearly a quarter million daily coronavirus cases

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — The United States adds a record of nearly a quarter million coronavirus cases in the past day.

Health experts says the record could increase as cases surge in various parts of the country and health care systems struggle to keep up.

Along with 249,709 new cases, there are an additional 2,814 reported deaths nationwide in the past 24 hours. That pushes the confirmed US death toll past 313,000, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

California leads the case surge with 48,221 more infections. Almost 17,000 people are hospitalized in California and health officials are scrambling to find enough beds for patients. Texas, Florida, New York and Tennessee all register more than 10,400 new cases.

The seven-day rolling average for new cases in the US rose in the past two weeks from 183,787 to 219,324 yesterday, an increase of nearly 20%.

Health officials are concerned about future cases brought on by travel and gatherings during the holidays and New Year’s.

— AP