July 24, 2020 -- The U.S. has now reported more than 4 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, nearly doubling the second-highest count of 2.2 million cases in Brazil.

States in the South and West continue to report record-high numbers of cases, particularly around the Gulf Coast. Although Florida and Texas have led the surge in infections in recent weeks, an uptick has also been reported in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi, according to The New York Times.

Alabama set a daily record with 61 new COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday and a single-day record of 2,390 new cases on Thursday. Louisiana also surpassed New York for the largest number of cases per capita, and Mississippi now has one of the steepest increases in deaths in the country.

Public health officials are particularly worried about small cities and rural areas in these states where hospital beds are limited and ICU wards are already filling to capacity, the newspaper reported.

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