SUMMER SPIKE: TEXAS RESIDENTS URGED TO STAY INSIDE. CALIFORNIA CASES HIT NEW HIGH. AZ POPS 77% IN WEEK.

SUMMER SPIKE

BEIJING (AP) — New coronavirus cases in the U.S. have surged to their highest level in two months and are now back to where they were at the peak of the outbreak.

The U.S. on Tuesday reported 34,700 new cases of the virus, according to a tally compiled by Johns Hopkins University that was published Wednesday. There have been only two previous days that the U.S. has reported more cases: April 9 and April 24, when a record 36,400 cases were logged.

New cases in the U.S. have been surging for more than a week after trending down for more than six weeks. While early hot spots like New York and New Jersey have seen cases steadily decrease, the virus has been hitting the south and west. Several states on Tuesday set single-day records, including Arizona, California, Mississippi, Nevada and Texas.

TEXAS RESIDENTS URGED TO STAY INSIDE

Updated at 5:38 p.m.: to include Abbott comment that while local officials may require masks at large outdoor gatherings, he’s not ordering it.

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott sternly warned Texans of “rampant” spread of coronavirus that took the state to a new high Tuesday of more than 5,000 new cases in a single day.

Saying Texans should stay home unless they have a good reason to venture out, Abbott late Tuesday afternoon gave local officials more powers to limit public gatherings during the upcoming Fourth of July weekend.

He expanded the ability of mayors and county judges to restrict outdoor gatherings of more than 100 people — down from the previous limit of more than 500 people in outdoor gatherings.

CALIFORNIA CASES HIT NEW HIGH

California shattered a daily record for new coronavirus cases with more than 6,000 infections reported Monday — the largest single-day count in the state since the pandemic hit the U.S.

In Los Angeles County, officials on Tuesday reported more than 2,000 new cases for the fourth time in the last week, bringing the total number of infections to more than 88,200. Officials also reported 34 additional deaths, increasing the death toll to 3,171 — the bulk of the state’s total.

In San Diego County, officials reported more than 300 new cases for the second day in a row after breaking a record with more than 310 cases Sunday.

AZ POPS 77% IN WEEK

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose by 3,591 Monday, breaking the previous high for a single-day increase, according to data from the Arizona Department of Health Services.

As of Tuesday, June 23, health officials reported 58,191 cases of COVID-19 and 1,384 deaths in the state. That is an increase of almost 20,000 new cases since last Tuesday, June 16, when the state’s total was 39,097.

The spike in positive cases comes several weeks after the May 15 lifting of Arizona’s stay-at-home orders, when businesses began reopening, and Memorial Day weekend, when many Arizonans left their homes to celebrate.

“It would be preposterous to think that people going out aren’t increasing the positive cases,” Dr. Murtaza Akhter of the University of Arizona College of Medicine told Cronkite News on Tuesday. “One of my concerns is whether people are ever going to take public health emergencies seriously.”

REOPENINGS IN DISARRAY

EU TO BAN AMERICAN TRAVELERS?

BRUSSELS — European Union countries rushing to revive their economies and reopen their borders after months of coronavirus restrictions are prepared to block Americans from entering because the United States has failed to control the scourge, according to draft lists of acceptable travelers seen by The New York Times.

That prospect, which would lump American visitors in with Russians and Brazilians as unwelcome, is a stinging blow to American prestige in the world and a repudiation of President Donald Trump’s handling of the virus in the United States, which has more than 2.3 million cases and upward of 120,000 deaths, more than any other country.