Coronavirus updates: US death toll rises for fifth straight week

zoranm Female doctor in protective workwear taking nose swab test from middle aged man wearing protective face mask, Covid-19 pandemic outbreak

(NEW YORK) — The U.S. COVID-19 death toll rose for the fifth straight week, trailing the huge surges in new cases in June and July, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

This week in the United States, 7,591 people died of COVID-19.

The analysis, which came out on Thursday, shows that “for the first time since early March, the number of people tested in the United States went down.  This week’s tests were 9.1% lower than last week’s national peak of 5.7 million tests. In absolute terms, we lost half a million tests.

New cases of COVID-19 were also down this week by 10.4 percent.  That percentage decline looks uncomfortably close to the drop in testing numbers, but probably can’t be entirely explained by the reduction in testing.

Over 18.9 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus,

Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 4.8 million diagnosed cases and at least 159,990 deaths.

The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some national governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their outbreaks.

The COVID-19 virus has now killed more than 712,000 people worldwide.

By George Costantino

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.