BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Coronavirus is now the third leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

During a virtual panel Thursday, doctors said COVID-19 is more lethal than cancer, heart disease and other illnesses, with nearly 250,000 Americans dying from the virus since January 2020. A Johns Hopkins spokesperson later clarified that COVID-19 is less lethal than heart disease and cancer.

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On Tuesday, the United States reported 1,707 coronavirus deaths — the equivalent of at least one American dying per minute. It’s the highest recorded in the U.S. for the past six months, according to Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Research Center.

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As of Thursday, the U.S. was up to 1,848 coronavirus deaths and 170,161 new cases. Maryland, too, hit a record high for new coronavirus cases in a single day with nearly 3,000 new cases.

As the holiday season arrives, experts are warning against large indoor gatherings. The CDC urges against gathering with people outside of your household.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Rachael Cardin