By MARLENE LENTHANG FOR DAILYMAIL.COM and PRESS ASSOCIATION
UK — The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the US surpassed five million Sunday morning, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.
The US number of cases is by far the highest in the world, but health officials believe for every reported case, there are roughly 10 times as many people infected due to testing limits and the number of unreported or unrecognized infections.
As of Sunday at 11am EST there were 5,000,603 cases recorded in the US and over 162,400 fatalities, according to the tally.
The bleak milestone was reached as new cases in the US stand at about 54,000-a-day.
President Donald Trump has said dozens of times that the virus will ‘go away’ but the nation’s mounting infection toll proves the virus is far from gone.
While the current rate of new infections is less than the 70,000 daily cases reported in the second half of July, cases are rising in nearly 20 states, and deaths are climbing in most.
Many Americans have resisted wearing face masks and social distancing.
This week five states account for more than 40 percent of all infections in the country leading with California, Florida, Texas, New York and Georgia.
California reported over 7,000 new cases on Saturday for a total of 545,000 throughout the state and a positivity rate of six percent over the past two weeks.
New York, which was once the country’s epicenter, has managed to handle the coronavirus crisis and now reports a positivity rate of about 0.93 percent, according to the governor’s office. The positivity rate indicates the number of people who test positive for the virus compared to how many people were tested.
In Texas there are more than 481,000 infections statewide and 8,300 deaths.
The state is reeling from a very high positivity rate of 16.79 percent on Friday. That number is just shy of the state’s mid-June high of 17.43 percent.
While the positivity rate declined for months, it started to rise again in August.
On Sunday Florida’s Department of Health confirmed 6,229 additional cases of COVID-19 bringing the total to 532,806 and the statewide death toll to 8,186. On Friday the state’s positivity rate was eight percent.
In Georgia there are 213,427 cases of the virus, there have been over 4,000 deaths and there are currently over 20,000 hospitalizations for the virus.
As the coronavirus cases mount, South Dakota proved they didn’t fear the virus as they held the 80th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
While the state has one of the lowest number of cases with about 9,477 infections and 146 deaths, there are fears that the gathering anticipated to have 250,000 attendees will spark another COVID-19 outbreak.
Across the country a fierce debate is unfolding over reopening schools for classes despite the risk of the virus.
While officials have said that children face less risks in contracting the disease, last week a seven-year-old boy with no underlying health conditions died in Georgia becoming the youngest victim in the state.
Some counties in Georgia have decided to reopen schools for the school year that started last week, despite the threat.
In the Cherokee County School district at least 260 students and eight teachers were quarantined after multiple students and teachers tested positive for the virus during the first week of school.
Earlier this month two teens died in Florida from coronavirus complications, tipping the state’s total of minors who died from the virus to seven.
New York cleared all school districts in the state to reopen, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday – but he’s willing to change that if the infection rate surges again.
The nation’s failure to contain the spread of coronavirus has been met with astonishment and alarm in Europe.
Italians were unprepared when the outbreak exploded in February, and the country still has one of the world’s highest official death tolls at 35,000.
But after a strict nationwide, 10-week lockdown, vigilant tracing of new clusters and general acceptance of mask mandates and social distancing, Italy has become a model of virus containment.
Much of the incredulity in Europe stems from the fact that the US had the benefit of time, European experience and medical know-how to treat the virus that the continent itself did not have when the first Covid-19 patients started filling intensive care units.
Italian health minister Roberto Speranza has not shied away from criticizing the US, officially condemned Washington’s decision to withhold funding from the World Health Organisation and has expressed amazement at President Donald Trump’s virus response.