The number of new confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States surged to an all-time high with 45,300 new cases reported on Friday, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. That's up from 40,000 new cases reported a day earlier.
The spike comes more than three months since the first wave mostly struck cities in the country's north and east – and then declined.
Thirty-one states have reported jumps in cases compared to two weeks ago, Michael George reports for "CBS This Morning: Saturday." Big increases in COVID-19 cases are now being reported across the Sun Belt.
In Texas and Florida, two of the nation's largest states, governors are reversing course and tightening restrictions after coronavirus numbers jumped following their reopenings. Texas reported that more than 5,100 coronavirus patients are currently hospitalized – a record high for the 15th consecutive day.
Hospitals in the Texas Medical Center, located in Harris County in the heart of Houston, are now reporting intensive care units 100% full.
The county is reimposing stay-at-home orders.
"Our situation is far worse today than when we issued the first stay-home order in Harris County, and when the state issued their first stay-home order," said Harris County judge Lina Hidalgo. "This is unacceptable."
Republican Governor Greg Abbott limited restaurant capacity on Friday to 50% – down from 75% – and said outdoor gatherings with over 100 people need to be approved by local officials. He also ordered bars across the state to close, again. They're an environment he now says stokes the virus.
"If I could go back and redo anything, it probably would have been to slow down the opening of bars, now seeing in the aftermath of how quickly the coronavirus spread in the bar setting," he said.
Florida announced similar restrictions: a ban on alcohol consumption at its bars after its daily confirmed coronavirus cases neared 9,000. The Florida agency that governs bars said Friday the ban is "effective immediately."
Miami-Dade County will also be closing its beaches ahead of Fourth of July weekend.
"After consulting with our County's public health experts, I will be signing an emergency order on Saturday to close all beaches in Miami-Dade County starting Friday, July 3, and ending Tuesday, July 7," Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said.
"The closure may be extended if conditions do not improve and people do not follow New Normal rules requiring masks to be worn always inside commercial establishments and outdoors when social distancing of at least 6 feet is not possible," he said.
On Saturday, Florida set another record in new confirmed virus cases: more than 9,500, according to health officials.
The White House is trying to paint a picture that the virus is under control. In his opening remarks at Friday's Coronavirus Task Force briefing, the first such briefing held in nearly two months, Vice President Mike Pence looked to assure Americans that this time is different.
"We have made truly remarkable progress in moving our nation forward," he said.
The vice president touted a recent jobs report and said all 50 states are opening up safely and responsibly. He said the country has flattened the curve from the initial COVID-19 outbreak in March.
"The reality is we're in a much better place," he said.
He said COVID-19 deaths are much lower now than in the spring, and that a smaller share of COVID-19 patients are being hospitalized.
About 600 deaths a day are being attributed to the coronavirus – down from a mid-April peak of more than 2,000. Some experts doubt fatalities will again climb to that level, given that younger people are more likely to survive the virus than older adults, and given advances in prevention and treatment.
At the same briefing on Friday, the nation's top infectious disease expert urged everyone to play their part.
"We can either be part of the solution or part of the problem," said Dr. Anthony Fauci.
He said there has been a "paradigm shift" in new cases of the coronavirus that is largely driven by young people.
"It's a paradigm shift because we're dealing with young people, people who are going to be asymptomatic, and people who are getting infected in a community setting, not an outbreak setting where you know who to identify, isolate and contact trace," Fauci said.
The jump in cases across the United States partly reflects widened testing. But there is also evidence the scourge is making a comeback, say experts. Higher percentages of COVID-19 tests are coming back positive.
The U.S. is now nearing a total of 2.5. million confirmed coronavirus cases, resulting in more than 125,000 deaths, far more than any other nation.