The U.S. on Friday reported more than 68,000 new COVID-19 cases, breaking the country’s record for the daily number of new cases for the third consecutive day as the growing pandemic tightens its grip on the country.
Friday’s total was a significant rise from Thursday’s record mark of 59,886, according to a tally from The New York Times, though it also underscores the massive jump in new cases over the past two weeks. Friday’s record of 68,100 represents an 84 percent increase over the last 16 days, the Times found.
Several states set records for the number of new cases on Friday, including Georgia, Utah, Montana, North Carolina, Iowa and Ohio.
Georgia, the first state to begin reopening its economy amid the pandemic, recorded 4,904 cases on Friday, smashing its previous record of 2,886 on July 2.
Atlanta officials have signaled that the city could be shifting back to phase one guidelines, which largely direct people to stay at home. The city’s mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms (D), tested positive for COVID-19 this week, though she says she is asymptomatic. She made wearing a masks while in public a requirement for city residents on Wednesday.