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Dec. 14, 2020, 6:24 a.m. EST

Coronavirus tally: Global cases top 72.3 million, as U.S. death toll climbs closer to 300,000

The global tally for confirmed cases of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 rose above 72.3 million on Monday, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University , while the death toll rose above 1.6 million. The U.S. has the highest case tally in the world at 16.26 million and the highest death toll reached 299,191, or roughly a fifth of the global totals. The U.S. counted 183,814 new cases on Sunday, and at least 1,357 people died, according to a New York Times tracker . The U.S. has averaged 210,039 cases a day over the past week, up 30% from the average two weeks earlier. There was a record 109,331 COVID-19 patients in U.S. hospitals on Sunday, according to the COVID Tracking Project , topping the record of 108,487 set a day earlier. The grim totals come as the first COVID-19 vaccine shipments began over the weekend, with vaccinations set to begin as soon as this week.

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