The US has reported at least 60,565 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, a new record increase after a series of new restrictions failed to quell the outbreak.
It is the second day in a row infections have risen by at least 60,000.
The number of confirmed infections worldwide passed 12 million, as cases continue to grow by roughly one million a week.
Dr Anthony Fauci, an infectious disease expert and adviser to the White House on the coronavirus, said the US was still “knee-deep” in only its first coronavirus wave.
“People ask about, ‘Are we concerned about a second wave?’ And I keep telling people, ‘What are you talking about a second wave? We are actually knee-deep in the first wave.’ We’ve never really gotten out of it,” Dr Fauci said.
For a third day in a row, US deaths climbed by more than 800, the highest levels seen since early June.
Florida reported a record increase of 120 deaths and California had 136 new fatalities, not far from a record of 149 set the previous day, according to the tally.
With California, Florida and Texas recently breaking records, hopes are fading for an economic revival and US stocks closed down about one per cent as investors worry another lockdown will cripple businesses.
Even outside the nation’s three most populous states, cases are rising. Alabama, Montana and Wisconsin recorded their biggest one-day rise in cases ever on Thursday. Infections are increasing in 41 out of 50 states.
The previous record was on Wednesday when cases rose by 60,541 in a single day.
The United States has reported more than 3.1 million cases total and over 133,000 deaths from the virus, making some Americans hesitant to return to public spaces and patronise businesses despite President Donald Trump’s efforts to downplay the risks.
Vice-President Mike Pence said the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention would revise its guidance on safely reopening schools, after a previous directive prompted the wrath of Mr Trump, who called them “very tough and expensive guidelines”.