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COVID-19 cases climb as the country celebrates Fourth of July

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(ABC/WKOW) -- The Fourth of July holiday weekend looked and felt different than year's past because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Most fireworks displays across the nation were canceled to avoid large crowds and beaches were closed but that didn't prevent people from gathering despite surges in cases in several hotspots.

In Florida, one of the nation's newest COVID-19 hotspots, there are now over 200,000 confirmed cases.

"As the cases do rise, [the] increase in hospitalizations will definitely increase as well," said Dr. Rajiv Bahl, an emergency medicine physician. "This is going to be something that isn't going to go away overnight"

Texas is also reaching a tipping point with a record number of hospitalizations this past weekend.

The mayor of Austin said he within two weeks of having hospital overrun.

And in Arizona, officials say ICU beds are running out. Only about 150 remain in the entire state.

"We opened way too early in Arizona. We were one of the last states to go to stay-at-home and one of the first to reemerge," said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump continues to dismiss the new numbers, suggesting the spikes are a result of more testing.

A vaccine is still a ways away. With health officials hoping one can be produced by the end of this year or early next year.


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