States with one-quarter of U.S. population see record rise in COVID-19 deaths for second day

States with one-quarter of U.S. population see record rise in COVID-19 deaths for second day

By Lisa Shumaker

(Reuters) - California, Florida and Texas reported record increases in COVID-19 deaths for a second day in a row on Wednesday, as total deaths surpassed 150,000, according to a Reuters tally.

California had 185 fatalities in the last 24 hours and Florida reported 217 new deaths. Texas had at least 311 deaths with some counties yet to report. Only two other states, New York and New Jersey, have ever reported more than 300 deaths in a single day.

U.S. deaths rose by at least 1,367 on Wednesday with some counties and states yet to report, the highest since May 27. Cases rose by 62,000 to a total of 4.4 million.

The three states -- the most populous in the country representing 27% of U.S. population -- have the largest outbreaks, eclipsing the previous U.S. epicenters of New York and New Jersey.

Coronavirus deaths are rising in 27 states, up from 23 states a week ago, according to a Reuters analysis of deaths the past two weeks compared with the prior two weeks.

Cases continue to rise by large amounts in California, Florida and Texas.

California reported over 11,600 new cases on Wednesday, bringing its total to over 485,000, the highest in the nation. Florida is in second place with 451,000 cases and followed by Texas at about 420,000.

North Carolina also had a record increase in deaths on Wednesday, rising by 42, according to a Reuters tally of county data. The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients was also a record high.

Total U.S. deaths surpassed 150,000 on Wednesday, the highest level in the world and rising at the fastest rate since early June. (Graphic:

Nationally, COVID-19 deaths have risen for three weeks in a row while the number of new cases week-over-week recently fell for the first time since June.

(Reporting by Lisa Shumaker; Editing by Bill Berkrot and Cynthia Osterman)