By Lisa Shumaker
(Reuters) - U.S. deaths from the novel coronavirus surpassed 150,000 on Wednesday, the highest level in the world and rising by 10,000 in 11 days, according to a Reuters tally.
This is the fastest increase in fatalities since the United States went from 100,000 cases to 110,000 cases in 11 days in early June, according to the tally. (Graphic: https://tmsnrt.rs/2P87LUu)
Nationally, COVID-19 deaths have risen for three weeks in a row while the number of new cases week-over-week recently fell for the first time since June.
A spike in infections in Arizona, California, Florida and Texas this month has overwhelmed hospitals. The rise has forced states to make a U-turn on reopening economies that were restricted by lockdowns in March and April to slow the spread of the virus.
Texas leads the nation with nearly 4,000 deaths so far this month, followed by Florida with 2,900 and California, the most populous state, with 2,500. The Texas figure includes a backlog of hundreds of deaths after the state changed the way it counted COVID-19 fatalities.
While deaths have rapidly risen in July in these three states, New York and New Jersey still lead the nation in total lives lost and for deaths per capita, according to a Reuters tally.
Of the 20 countries with the biggest outbreak, the United States ranks sixth for deaths per capita, at 4.5 fatalities per 10,000 people. It is exceeded by the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Peru and Chile.
(Reporting by Lisa Shumaker; Editing by Aurora Ellis)