Coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the United States are continuing to reach record highs.
Over 19,300 Americans died in the past week alone, beating the existing weekly record by almost 400 deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University database. Almost 4,100 Americans died on Thursday, shattering a previous daily record my approximately 200 deaths and equaling a death in the U.S. every 21 seconds.
The spike in deaths mirrors record case counts across the country. Almost 275,000 cases were reported on Thursday, just missing the daily record of 291,384 cases set six days earlier.
In the past week, the United States has confirmed 1,599,749 coronavirus cases, according to Johns Hopkins, equaling approximately 159 cases every minute.
Weekly cases have increased in 49 states, and 43 states have reported a higher rate of positivity, according to the COVID Tracking Project. The surge has led to an increase in hospitalizations, filling some ICUs to capacity and forcing some areas of California to urge paramedics to ration ambulance services.
The spikes “likely will be a reflection of the holiday season travel and the congregate settings that usually take place socially during that period of time,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said in an interview with NPR.
December’s jobs report showed job losses for the first time since April, showing approximately 140,000 jobs lost as some states pause reopening and impose restrictions aimed at curbing the virus’s spread.
And while recently approved vaccines have provided hope for officials and Americans alike, their distribution and administration has lagged, with tens-of-millions of doses sitting on shelves and thousands of doses being left to expire. (RELATED: ‘We Are Way Behind’ Regarding Vaccine Distribution, Former FDA Commissioner Says)
“We are way behind,” former FDA Commissioner Scott Gotlieb said on CNBC on Monday.
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