Coronavirus updates: Up to 150K deaths possible by July 18, CDC says

As coronavirus cases continue to climb across the country, a new forecast from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the U.S. could soon see 150,000 fatalities.

Posted: Jun 24, 2020 6:18 PM

(ABC) As coronavirus cases continue to climb across the country, a new forecast from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the U.S. could soon see 150,000 fatalities.

Texas COVID cases cross 5,500

The number of cases reported the previous day in Texas was 5,551, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The total is a new one-day record for the state.

The previous one-day high was 5,489 -- recorded Tuesday.

The state also recorded its highest number of tests -- both viral and antibody tests -- at over 40,000. However, the percentage of positive tests hit a high of 10.42%, a steady climb from one week ago (6.94%).

There have been over 125,000 cases in the state so far, and at least 2,249 deaths.

CDC offers frightening death toll prediction

In the CDC's weekly "ensemble forecast," an average of predictions from 20 different models, the organization said that the U.S. death toll will likely be between 130,000 and 150,000 by July 18.

The U.S. death toll currently stands at 121,746.

Forecasts indicate that the number of new deaths will likely surpass the number of deaths reported over the last several weeks in the states of Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Hawaii, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.

In all other states, the number of new fatalities is expected to stay steady or slightly decrease.

California cases see stunning jump

In California, COVID-19 cases saw a stunning 69% jump in just two days, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday.

On Sunday, California reported 4,230 new cases, on Monday there were 5,019 new cases and on Tuesday cases increased by 7,149, Newsom said.

And as the state increases testing, residents should anticipate more of an increase in the positivity rate, the governor warned.

Hospitalization numbers have increased and 30% of ICU capacity statewide is being used, he said.

Newsom urged Californians to wear masks and practice social distancing, stressing that the state is still in the first wave of the virus.

LA County has more cases than any other county

Los Angeles County has more cases of coronavirus than any other county in the U.S.

LA has over 88,500 residents diagnosed with COVID-19, followed by 87,700 cases in Cook County, Illinois, and 64,000 cases in Queens in New York City.

Florida sees major increase

In comparison, the entire state of Florida had 109,000 cases as of Wednesday.

LA County has about 10 million residents while Florida's population stands at roughly 21.4 million.

But Florida is also seeing a major increase. The state's Department of Health reported 5,511 news cases Wednesday, representing a 15.91% positivity rate out of 36,300 tests conducted Tuesday -- the highest percentage positive in the last calendar month and almost one-third higher than one day earlier.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday blamed rapid transmission in the 18-35 age group for the new rise in daily cases.

"Granted, they’re weren’t being tested at this level a couple months ago," he said. "But I also think they are testing positive at a higher and higher rate. So clearly you have community spread there."

LA County public health director reveals death threats

On Monday, the director of LA County's Department of Public Health, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, revealed that she's received death threats due to the pandemic.

Ferrer said she was holding a COVID-19 briefing on Facebook Live in May "when someone very casually suggested that I should be shot."

"I didn’t immediately see the message, but my husband did, my children did, and so did my colleagues," Ferrer said in a statement.

"One reason I handle these briefings myself is to shield the extraordinary team at L.A. County Public Health from these attacks which have been going on, via emails, public postings, and letters -- since March," she continued. "It is deeply worrisome to imagine that our hardworking infectious disease physicians, nurses, epidemiologists and environmental health specialists or any of our other team members would have to face this level of hatred."

"Our job and our calling is to keep as many people as safe as possible during this pandemic," Ferrer said. "While frustration boils over in our communities as people are done with this virus, this virus is not done with us."

In Los Angeles' fight against the virus, Los Angeles International Airport is implementing thermal camera technology and city officials are bringing mobile testing to about 25,000 people at 15 Los Angeles public housing developments.

LA County is continuing to reopen in phases. Among the open facilities are bars, wineries, public pools, beaches and piers, day camps, gyms and museums.

Concert venues, nightclubs, youth sports leagues and movie theaters are among the businesses still closed.

ABC News' Scott Withers and Bonnie Mclean contributed to this report.

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A few areas of frost are possible this morning as temperatures have fallen into the mid 30s. Today temperatures will remain below average with highs in the upper 50s and lower 60s under mostly sunny skies. A few clouds will move back into the area tonight as temperatures dip down into the mid to lower 30s. Areas of frost will be possible again early Thursday morning. Conditions will stay relatively the same on Thursday with highs in the upper 50s under mostly sunny skies. Rain chances will move back into the area on Friday, mainly through the afternoon and evening keeping temperatures in the lower 50s. A few rain showers could linger through early Saturday morning before moving out of the area. Sunday looks to be a dry and mild day with temperatures remaining in the upper 50s. Temperatures will start to warm up on Monday with highs back in the low to mid 60s before a cold front moves through the area dropping temperatures back into the 50s on Tuesday.
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