U.S. sets record for Covid deaths, cases and hospitalizations as virus runs rampant
The United States logged 14 million Covid-19 cases Wednesday just hours after setting three grim records, including the highest number of daily deaths, new infections and hospitalizations since the pandemic began.
The U.S. reported 2,777 coronavirus-related deaths on Wednesday alone, according to an NBC News tally. The country registered nearly 205,000 new cases of Covid-19 on the same day, a figure that comes just a month after the U.S. single-day record topped 100,000 cases for the first time.
Meanwhile, more people than ever are hospitalized. The Covid Tracking Project reported that 100,000 people were hospitalized across the country.
The country has tallied 14,007,908 cases and 274,311 deaths since the pandemic began, according to an NBC News tally.
Much of the United States has seen a rise in cases over the last month. In the last two weeks that surge has been most acute In New Mexico, Arizona and California, where the percentage of new cases has risen by 109 percent, 90 percent and 75 percent, respectively, according to NBC News data.
“Cases are rising, hospitalizations are increasing, deaths are increasing. We need to try to bend the curve, stop this exponential increase,” Dr. Henry Walke, the CDC’s Covid-19 incident manager, said during a briefing.
Health experts are bracing for a possible surge in travel-related cases following Thanksgiving. Cases stemming from the holiday are likely to be apparent about a week to 10 days after Thanksgiving.
CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield had a dire prediction for the winter months. “I actually believe they’re going to be the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation,” he said.
Much like it did ahead of Thanksgiving, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending people to cancel plans to travel for the December holidays.
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But if you must, get coronavirus tests before and after, experts said.
The agency on Wednesday announced new, shorter, quarantine guidelines after possible exposure to the coronavirus.
The agency’s previous guidance had been to quarantine for 14 days, but it’s now suggesting two alternatives.
The first is to end quarantine after 10 days if no symptoms are reported, Walke said. The second option is to end quarantine after seven days if an individual tests negative and also reports no symptoms.
Kurt Chirbas, Colin Sheeley and Wilson Wong contributed.