More than 50,000 people tested positive for the coronavirus in the United States on Tuesday alone, ramping up the total figure to more than 3 million, a development that has heightened fear among health workers in the country.

The US has the highest known numbers of both COVID-19 cases and deaths in the world. More than 131,000 Americans have died from the disease, a toll that experts warn will likely surge following recent record spikes in case numbers in many states.

In the first seven days of July, 19 states have reported record increases in new cases of COVID-19, including California, Hawaii, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma and Texas on Tuesday.

A story earlier published by Reuters stated that while some of the increase can be attributed to more testing — new tests increased from a daily average of 461,000 in early June to 642,000 in early July — positive cases are rising at unprecedented rates in many states.

It stated that current hospitalizations began to surge in late June after slowing in the weeks prior; there were more than 38,600 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the past seven days compared to an average just over 32,000 in early June, according to a Reuters tally.

In Texas, the number of hospitalized patients more than doubled in just two weeks. In Arizona, about 90% of ICU beds are full. And in California, hospitalizations have risen 50% in the past two weeks.

In Florida, more than four dozen hospitals reported that their intensive care units (ICUs) reached full capacity on Tuesday. The daily U.S. tally stood at 50,170 late Tuesday, more than double the average of 22,000 cases a day reported in June. The United States set an all-time record for new cases in a single day of 56,818 on July 3.

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