Aug. 20 (UPI) -- For the fifth day in a row, new COVID-19 cases in the United States are under 50,000 -- a streak that hasn't been seen since before a dramatic spike in cases began in early July.
New data Thursday from Johns Hopkins University showed 46,400 new cases on Wednesday, a slight increase over the day before. Nationally, there have been fewer than 50,000 new cases in nine of the last 11 days, continuing a gradual decline since a single-day spike of 77,000 in mid-July.
The data also showed, however, an additional 1,300 deaths Wednesday, extending a pattern of more deaths but fewer overall cases. Johns Hopkins data had showed 1,300 patients also died on Tuesday. The daily average in July was about 800.
The new cases pushed the overall total in the United States to 5.530 million cases since the start of the pandemic. There have been about 173,200 deaths.
In Florida, the statewide death toll surpassed 10,000 as health officials reported almost 200 more on Wednesday. There have been 584,000 total cases in Florida, but the positivity rate was below 10% on Wednesday for the seventh day in a row.
Gov. Ron DeSantis said in an update Wednesday Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties may be close to the second phase of the state's reopening plan. The three counties, which make up the Miami metropolitan area, are Florida's three most populous.
"I think the next step will be moving with our three southern Florida counties about moving them to get into Phase 2," DeSantis said. "If look at the trends in all of those counties we've had really significant downward trends really for weeks now."
Under Phase 2 guidelines, restaurants, theaters and concert halls can increase capacity to 50% and gyms and other retail businesses can operate at full capacity, with certain precautions.
In California, officials reported nearly 7,000 new cases Wednesday -- pushing the total to 646,000, more than any other state. Hospitalizations increased for a third straight day.
In Texas, the positivity rate declined slightly to 10.8% on Wednesday -- the lowest mark since June 23.
The state also saw more than 300 new deaths, raising the overall toll in Texas to nearly 11,000.