While Americans have been rejoicing over the return to near-normalcy, the number of new daily cases and deaths of the coronavirus-borne illness rose for a third-straight day, with cases topping the 20,000 mark for the first time in over a week.

The seven-day average of cases also ticked higher, but it was still down significantly from two weeks ago.

There were at least 22,314 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, according to a New York Time Tracker, up from 15,059 on Tuesday, after 13,758 new cases on Monday and 6,067 on Sunday. Read previous Coronavirus Update columns.

Deaths rose to at least 449 on Wednesday from 373 on Tuesday, which followed 305 deaths on Monday and 253 deaths on Sunday.

The seven-day average of cases edged

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