Coronavirus: US death toll passes 250,000

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By Euronews
A COVID-19 treatment unit at UW Health in Madison, Wis., US on Nov. 5, 2020.
A COVID-19 treatment unit at UW Health in Madison, Wis., US on Nov. 5, 2020.   -  Copyright  John Hart/Wisconsin State Journal via AP

More than a quarter of a million people are now known to have lost their lives to COVID-19 in the United States.

The US death toll from the pandemic reached 250,052 on Wednesday after a daily increase of 1,707, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The country is the most heavily impacted in the world with the highest death toll and the biggest tally of cases - now over 11.5 million.

Infections across the US have been shooting up in recent days. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Wednesday that average daily cases have risen 43 per cent compared to the previous seven days with an increase observed in 94 per cent of US jurisdictions.

Faced with a rapid increase in cases, several states and major cities have reintroduced measures to curb the spread of the virus.

Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York, which was the epicentre of the pandemic in the US in the spring, announced that schools would close on Thursday due to the COVID-19 positivity rate reaching three per cent.

"We have a stringent health and safety standard right now. We're going to have to raise that up even higher to be able to bring our schools back," he said, adding that the closure would be as short as possible.

Denver, in Colorado, has taken a similar decision, shifting to remote learning from November 30 through to the winter break.

The state of Minnesota has meanwhile ordered the closure of in-person dining, and sports and indoor fitness activities in group settings.

Food and drink establishments unable to adhere to the health protocol can only operate on "to-go" or virtual means. The restrictions are to last until December 18.