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US coronavirus hospitalizations surpass 100K for first time

US coronavirus hospitalizations surpass 100K for first time
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U.S. coronavirus-related hospitalizations on Wednesday surpassed 100,000 for the first time as health officials fear the winter will bring even greater numbers.

The COVID Tracking Project documented 100,226 current hospitalizations in the country as of Wednesday – almost a week after the holiday. The record-breaking number also came six days after the U.S. broke 90,000 hospitalizations for the first time on Thanksgiving. 

Out of the more than 100,000 hospitalized, 19,396 COVID-19 patients are in the intensive care unit and 6,855 are on a ventilator. 

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South Dakota, Nevada, Indiana, Montana and Nebraska recorded the highest number of patients per capita in hospital beds after the Midwest has endured a spike in COVID-19 cases, according to The Washington Post.

The U.S. also documented the highest number of COVID-19 cases confirmed in a single day with 195,695 new cases, leading to The COVID Tracking Project’s total to reach more than 13.7 million cases. Wednesday’s new cases surpasses the seven-day average by almost 35,000 cases. 

The country recorded its highest amount of deaths in one day since May with 2,733 new deaths Wednesday. The U.S.’s total has reached more than 264,000 fatalities, according to The COVID Tracking Project’s count. 

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The record-high of new cases and current hospitalizations comes on the same day that the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield predicted the next three months will be “the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation.”

The CDC forecasts that the U.S. could experience another 200,000 COVID-19 deaths in that time period. 

The agency had warned Americans not to travel for Thanksgiving and spend the day with people outside of their households a week prior to the holiday. But the days before and after Thanksgiving saw millions of people travel by plane, with Sunday seeing the highest number of passengers since March.

Health officials have cautioned that the Thanksgiving gatherings across the country will likely contribute to higher cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the coming weeks.