According to a database kept by Johns Hopkins, at least 3 million people in the United States are confirmed to have contracted the novel coronavirus since the pandemic reached the country earlier this year.
The U.S. surpassed the grim milestone on Wednesday morning. According to the database, more than 131,000 Americans have died of the virus.
The U.S. passed the milestone as cases of COVID-19 continue to spike across the country, particularly in southern states. Late June and early July have seen some of the highest daily totals of newly confirmed COVID-19 infections since the pandemic began. Arizona, California, Florida and Texas have seen massive spikes in recent weeks before dropping in recent days — likely due to lack of reporting over the Fourth of July holiday.
Hospitalizations linked to the virus across the county have risen slightly in recent weeks and have spiked in states where the virus appears to be spreading quickly.
Several states have either paused or rolled back steps to reopen businesses following lockdown-related restrictions in response to rising case numbers. A number of states and cities have also introduced ordinances requiring masks in public places.
The U.S. also continues to be among the world leaders in cases per 100,000 people. Only Chile and Peru rank higher, according to Johns Hopkins.
U.S. cases account for more than a quarter of all worldwide cases. Around the world, nearly 12 million people have contracted the virus and about 540,000 have died.
The U.S.'s total number of cases is almost double that of Brazil — the country with the second-most confirmed cases of the virus.