US records 2,300 COVID-19 deaths as pandemic rises with holidays

The nation is seeing an alarming new rise in COVID-19 deaths that is following a spike in cases being recorded across the country, with the U.S. suffering 2,313 deaths on Wednesday, according to data collected by The New York Times

The numbers are raising concerns that the United States could see deaths from COVID-19 rise back to numbers initially seen in the spring, when the pandemic first hit the country.

The rise in deaths on Wednesday represented a 57 percent increase in the 14-day average, according to the Times. 

The Washington Post reports the seven-day average of deaths is above 1,600. It recorded more than 2,200 deaths on Wednesday in its count, which it said was the highest single-day increase in deaths since May 6. 

Coronavirus cases have skyrocketed across the U.S. and Europe in the past weeks as temperatures have dropped and people have moved indoors to socialize, which has made it easier for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, to spread.

There has been promising news on the vaccine front, but it is likely to be a number of months before most people can be vaccinated and in the meantime, more and more people are getting COVID-19. 

Health experts have said the holiday season in the U.S. has the potential to be “the mother of all superspreader events.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that people only celebrate with people in their immediate households this year, but millions of people are still expected to travel, increasing the likelihood of spreading the coronavirus.

President-elect Joe Biden in an address on Wednesday urged Americans to take care and to listen to advice from the public health community. He used rhetoric that compared the fight against the pandemic to a war, saying the country needed to unify to tackle it.

Several states such as California and Pennsylvania have recently instituted quarantines for travelers arriving from out of state.

Sten Vermund, dean of the Yale School of Public Health, told the Post, “Unless we have a sea change in public attitudes and greater adherence to public health control measures, we’re likely to see things worsen.”

The proportion of deaths to cases has dropped as health care workers have learned better methods of treating the virus and also because younger people are contracting the virus on average.

Still, the Post noted that the U.S. reported over 185,000 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday alone, more than twice the amount of cases that were reported at the peak of the first surge in July.

While these numbers can be attributed partially to expanded testing, cases are still rising at a significantly higher rate than they did at the beginning of the pandemic.

On Wednesday health care workers warned that daily deaths could double within a matter of days.

Jonathan Reiner, a professor of medicine at George Washington University, told CNN, “I expect that the daily death rate will double in the next 10 days. … We’ll be seeing close to 4,000 deaths a day.”

As of Nov. 25 the U.S. has reported 259,005 deaths and nearly 12.5 million cases, according to the CDC.

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 COVID-19 deaths Joe Biden

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