(Reuters) – U.S. coronavirus deaths topped 80,000 on Monday, according to a Reuters tally, as nearly all states have taken steps to relax lockdown measures.

Deaths in the United States, the epicenter of the global pandemic, have averaged 2,000 a day since mid-April despite efforts to slow the outbreak.

The death toll is higher than any fatalities from the seasonal flu going back to 1967 and represents more U.S. deaths than during the first 11 years of the AIDS epidemic, from 1981 to 1992.

Total coronavirus cases in the United States have exceeded 1.3 million with infections rising in such states as Mississippi, Minnesota and Nebraska, highlighting the risk of a new wave of COVID-19 outbreaks.

Cases are falling in New Jersey and New York at the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States, accounting for nearly half of the American deaths from COVID-19, according to the Reuters tally, and the two states have among the strictest lockdown rules still in place.

GRAPHIC: Tracking the novel coronavirus in the U.S. here

FILE PHOTO: A U.S. Marine stands beside the flag-draped coffin of a veteran who contracted the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett, Massachusetts, U.S., May 4, 2020. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Writing by Lisa Shumaker; Editing by Howard Goller

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