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the coronavirus crisis

4,600 U.S. coronavirus deaths were recorded Thursday, nearly double Wednesday's record high

The U.S. recorded 4,591 deaths from the COVID-19 coronavirus in the 24 hours before 8 p.m. Thursday night, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Johns Hopkins data. That is the most U.S. coronavirus deaths registered in one day. The previous record, 2,569 deaths, was Wednesday.

Overall, at least 33,296 people have died from COVID-19 in the U.S. and 671,425 have become infected as of Friday morning, Johns Hopkins reports. There are 2.16 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide and 145,568 deaths. After the U.S., the countries reporting the highest numbers of fatalities are Italy (22,170), Spain (19,315), and France (17,920). Many countries are believed to be undercounting their cases and deaths, for various reasons.

Deaths are a lagging indicator of the disease's spread in a region. On Thursday, the U.S. government released a list of recommendations for states that believe they are ready to start lifting coronavirus mitigation rules.