NEW YORK – The total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States topped 17 million on Thursday, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

US COVID-19 case count rose to 17,000,408, with a total of 307,770 deaths, as of 10:27 am local time (1527 GMT), according to the CSSE tally.

California reported the most cases among the states, standing at 1,715,422, followed by Texas with 1,534,831 cases and Florida with 1,155,335 cases. Illinois registered 870,600 cases and New York identified 804,555 cases.

Other states with over 450,000 cases include Ohio, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Michigan, Wisconsin and North Carolina, the CSSE data showed.

By far, the United States remains the nation worst hit by the pandemic, with the world’s most cases and deaths, making up more than 22 percent of the global caseload.

US COVID-19 cases hit 10 million on Nov. 9, and increased by 5 million within a month.

In December, the United States has seen record numbers of cases, deaths as well as hospitalizations time and again.

US daily cases skyrocketed to 247,403 on Wednesday, the highest single-day rise in new cases since the pandemic began, according to data complied by Johns Hopkins University.

Wednesday also marked the 44th consecutive day that the United Sates had crossed the threshold of more than 100,000 daily cases since the beginning of November.

Meanwhile, Wednesday was the deadliest day ever since the onset of the pandemic for the United States, with daily deaths surging to 3,656, the CSSE chart showed.

Current hospitalizations in the United States soared to an all-time high of 113,090 on Wednesday, according to The COVID Tracking Project.

A national ensemble forecast updated Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicted a total of 357,000 to 391,000 coronavirus deaths in the United States by Jan. 9, 2021.

US experts warned if a large number of people would rather travel and gather than follow guidelines over the Christmas holiday next week, the worst of the pandemic is still ahead.