More than 1,000 people in the U.S. have died from the novel coronavirus so far, reaching a four-digit figure for the first time. 

According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, there are now 1,031 deaths and the country has the third-highest number of confirmed cases at 68,572.

China, where the pandemic broke out, tops the list with 81,667 cases, followed by Italy with 74,386.

The first death from the disease, or COVID-19, was reported in Washington state on March 1.

On Tuesday, an official from the World Health Organization said the U.S. could become the epicenter of the

Read more: US coronavirus death toll tops 1,000: study