U.S. coronavirus cases rise by over 70,000 for second day in a row

The U.S. Capitol Building is reflected against an ambulance along the East Front on Capitol Hill in Washington

(Reuters) - For a second day in a row, U.S. coronavirus cases rose by over 70,000 as Americans clashed over wearing masks and whether to reopen schools in a few weeks.

Cases on Friday rose by at least 70,674 after climbing by a record 77,499 on Thursday, the largest increase posted by any country since the pandemic started, according to a Reuters tally.

U.S. deaths on Friday rose by at least 912, the fourth day in a row that fatalities have risen by over 900 a day.

Coronavirus cases are rising in 41 of 50 states, according to a Reuters analysis of cases the past two weeks compared with the previous two weeks. Deaths are rising in 19 states.

Texas on Friday reported a record daily increase in deaths for the third day in a row with 174 lives lost, bringing its death toll to a total of 3,735.

In addition to rising deaths and cases, six states reported a record number of COVID-19 patients in their hospitals. Texas reported over 10,600 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized and Alabama, Georgia, Montana, North Carolina and South Carolina also reported record hospitalizations on Friday, according to a Reuters tally.

(Writing by Lisa Shumaker. Editing by Gerry Doyle)