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Number of confirmed COVID-19 cases jumps to 6,000 in US, 200,000 worldwide

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Posted at 8:56 AM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 14:59:26-04

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the U.S. has more than doubled since Monday, as increased testing capacity has allowed health officials to more accurately track the spread of the disease.

As of Wednesday morning, at least 6,496 people were confirmed to have been infected with COVID-19, according to a database kept by Johns Hopkins. At least 114 people have died in connection with the disease.

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The total number of people infected with COVID-19 is likely much higher.

On Monday, there were about 3,000 confirmed cases of the virus in the United States. There have been 17 confirmed recoveries.

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Around the world, more than 200,000 people are confirmed to have contracted the disease, and 8,000 have died. At least 82,000 people have recovered from the disease.

On Friday, the FDA approved new testing methods via emergency approval. The new testing methods have allowed health departments to set up drive-thru testing sites throughout the country, which will further increase capacity and help researchers track the disease.

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Researchers urge anyone who thinks they may be infected with COVID-19 first to call their doctor or healthcare provider. Those medical professionals can either direct patients to the nearest testing facility or provide more crucial information.

Those who do not have underlying health issues may not require a COVID-19 test. Instead, some may just be told to self-isolate in order to conserve testing resources.

"You don't need to be tested to know what to do," Vice President Mike Pence said earlier this week.

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