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U.S. COVID-19 cases under 35K for first time in 2 months

U.S. COVID-19 cases under 35K for first time in 2 months
A woman is seen wearing a face mask as she walks along a street in New York City last Thursday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 24 (UPI) -- There were fewer than 35,000 new cases of COVID-19 in the United States on Sunday, according to data Monday from researchers at Johns Hopkins University -- the lowest number in two months.

The university's Center for Systems Science and Engineering showed about 34,500 cases, nationally. That's the fewest number of new cases since 30,500 on June 22.

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The U.S. average over the previous six days was 44,000. There were about 450 coronavirus deaths on Sunday, the lowest figure in a week.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 5.703 million cases in the United States and 176,800 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins. Cases have continued a gradual decline since peaking in mid-July.

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In Louisiana, approaching storms in the Gulf of Mexico, Tropical Storms Laura and Marco, have prompted officials to shut down state-run testing sites, Gov. John Bel Edwards said Sunday.

"We are going to pause COVID testing on Monday and Tuesday in light of the storms," Edwards said at a briefing.

Edwards warned that residents who take in others in their homes for the storms should observe recommended safety guidelines "to the maximum extent possible" to keep transmissions down.

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Marco is expected to make landfall in Louisiana after midnight Monday and Laura is forecast to make landfall as a hurricane early Thursday somewhere between far eastern Texas and western Louisiana.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott preemptively declared a disaster for 23 counties and urged residents to keep up their guard.

"We cannot allow the oncoming hurricanes to set us back in the advancements that we've made in combating COVID-19," Abbott told reporters in Austin.

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The number of new cases fell in Texas Sunday to a daily total lower than the previous two days.

In Iowa, officials confirmed that a 5-year-old child who died two months ago had COVID-19.

In Florida, there were fewer than 3,000 new cases, data showed, the lowest single-day total since June. The increase, however, pushed the state's total beyond 600,000, the most of any state except California.

In North Carolina, college football practice is set to resume Monday after the University of North Carolina cleared players to resume workouts.

Practices were shut down last week after a spike in cases, but school officials rescinded the ban Saturday. The change allows football, men's and women's basketball, cross country, field hockey, men's and women's soccer and volleyball players to return to practice.

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