By MORGAN WINSOR, ERIN SCHUMAKER and EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now infected more than 96.2 million people worldwide and killed over two million of them, according to real-time data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Here’s how the news is developing Wednesday. All times Eastern:

Jan 20, 5:39 am
US reports over 168,000 new cases

There were 168,058 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the United States on Tuesday, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

The latest daily case count is far less than the country’s all-time high of 298,031 newly confirmed infections on Jan. 2, Johns Hopkins data shows.

An additional 2,550 fatalities from COVID-19 were registered nationwide on Tuesday, down from a peak of 4,462 new deaths on Jan. 12, according to Johns Hopkins data.

COVID-19 data may be skewed due to possible lags in reporting over the holidays followed by a potentially very large backlog.

A total of 24,253,368 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 401,730 have died, according to Johns Hopkins data. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.

Much of the country was under lockdown by the end of March as the first wave of the pandemic hit. By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in the country’s cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up over the summer.

The numbers lingered around 40,000 to 50,000 from mid-August through early October before surging again to record levels, crossing 100,000 for the first time on Nov. 4, then reaching 200,000 on Nov. 27 before nearing 300,000 on Jan. 2.

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