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Health expert: Daily coronavirus deaths could double in a matter of days

Health expert: Daily coronavirus deaths could double in a matter of days
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Coronavirus deaths could double in a matter of days as Americans celebrate Thanksgiving with their families, one expert told CNN on Thursday

More than 100,000 new cases have been reported every day since Nov. 3, CNN notes, and hospitalizations have also risen to record numbers. 

More than 2,000 Americans have died of the virus on Tuesday and Wednesday, the news outlet notes. Prior to that, the U.S. had not hit 2,000 daily deaths since May. 

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Jonathan Reiner, a professor of medicine at George Washington University, told the network that hospitalized patients today were infected at least two weeks ago, and it takes around seven days to become symptomatic. It then takes another week for people to be hospitalized, and usually another week after to succumb to the illness. 

“I expect that the daily death rate will double in the next 10 days," Reiner, said. "We'll be seeing close to 4,000 deaths a day."

Experts have long warned that cases would spike during the winter months as the colder weather forces people to spend more time inside, where the virus can more easily spread. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised Americans to not travel for Thanksgiving, and the White House coronavirus task force urged states to make “significant behavior change” to combat the “aggressive, rapid, and expanding” spread of cases around the holidays. 

More than 12.7 million Americans have contracted the virus since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 262,000 have died.