Some state officials mused aloud about the possibility of a fresh round of shutdowns, measures that health experts said could be avoided with widespread use of face coverings and stronger social distancing habits.

The warning came as the United States set new highs for cases and hospitalizations, with more than 152,000 daily infections and 66,000 hospitalizations, according to The Post’s latest data.

Here are some significant developments:

  • Governors for Illinois, Maryland and Washington said Thursday that they have not ruled out ramping up restrictions or enforcement, even if that means forcing businesses to close to reduce the spread of the virus.
  • The record-breaking surge in cases is being driven to a significant degree by casual occasions that may feel deceptively safe, officials and scientists warn.
  • Congressional Democratic leaders accused Republicans of refusing to confront the dramatically worsening pandemic.
  • The Ivy League is the first Division I college athletics conference to cancel its winter sports seasons.
  • As Georgia starts its laborious audit of the presidential race, its secretary of state entered quarantine Thursday after his wife tested positive for the coronavirus.