The United States reported a record high of more than 77,000 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections to 3,560,364, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

Meanwhile, the death toll rose by 974, taking the country’s total to 138,201.

The state of Florida, which has emerged as the epicenter of the outbreak, reported a record 156 COVID-19 deaths on Thursday with close to 14,000 new cases.

The United States remains the worst-hit nation in the world in absolute terms.

Experts have warned that cases could soon top 100,000 a day if the country fails to take steps necessary to stem the spread of the virus.