New cases of Covid-19 rose by over 69,000 across the United States yesterday, according to a Reuters tally, setting a record for the third consecutive day.

A total of nine US states - Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Ohio, Utah and Wisconsin - also reached records for single-day infections.

In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott warned he may have to impose new clampdowns if the state cannot stem its record-setting caseloads and hospitalisations through masks and social distancing.

"If we don't adopt this best practice it could lead to a shutdown of business," the Republican governor told local media, adding it was the last thing he wanted.

California announced the state will release up to 8,000 inmates early from prisons to slow the spread of Covid-19 inside the facilities.

At San Quentin State Prison, outside San Francisco, half of the facility's roughly 3,300 prisoners have tested positive for the virus.

The Walt Disney Co said the theme parks in Orlando would open today to a limited number of guests who along with employees would be required to wear masks and undergo temperature checks. The park also cancelled parades, firework displays and events that typically draw crowds.

Disney's chief medical officer said earlier this week she believed the rules would allow guests to visit the park safely.

Roughly 19,000 people, including some theme park workers, have signed a petition asking Disney to delay the reopening.

The union representing 750 Walt Disney World performers has filed a grievance against the company, claiming retaliation against members over a union demand that they be tested for Covid-19.

Other theme parks opened in Orlando in June, including Universal Studios Orlando and Sea World.

Florida remains one of the worst hotspots for the virus in the nation and is among a handful of states where deaths are rising.

The worst-hit country in the world by the pandemic, the US has recorded a total of 133,969 deaths out of 3.18 million cases.

Overall, coronavirus cases are rising in 44 American states, based on a Reuters analysis of cases for the past two weeks compared with the prior two weeks


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Australia's second most-populous state reported one of its highest daily increases in new coronavirus infections and warned the numbers would get worse before they got better as it began its first weekend under a six-week lockdown.

Victoria state recorded 216 new cases of the virus in the 24 hours this morning, down from a record 288 cases the previous day but still one of the biggest daily increases of any part of the country since the pandemic arrived.

The state put its capital city, Melbourne, into lockdown this week amid concern that community transmission was causing a second wave of the virus.

The authorities had previously attributed most new cases to people returning from overseas.

"It will get worse before it gets better," Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews told a televised news conference.

"We will see more and more additional cases. This is going to be with us for months and months."

"Nobody is enjoying being locked at home. It is frustrating, it is challenging, but the strategy will be successful if we all play our part."

There were 100 separate outbreaks in Victoria, the state's chief health officer, Brett Sutton, told the news conference.

Australia has avoided the high Covid-19 casualty numbers of other countries after closing its borders and going into nationwide lockdown in March.

The country has recorded about 9,200 infections and 107 deaths, including the death of a man in his 90s in Victoria overnight, Mr Andrews said.