US reports 3,100 COVID-19 deaths in one day, surpassing previous record by 20 percent
The U.S. saw its highest single-day coronavirus death toll to date on Wednesday with 3,157.
The number was 20 percent higher than the previous single-day high of 2,603 on April 15, and brings the total U.S. death toll to 273,799, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The record high came the same day new hospitalizations exceeded 100,000 for the first time ever and newly reported infections hit 200,000 for only the second time, according to the COVID Tracking Project. Of those hospitalized, 19,396 were intensive care patients, another new high.
These numbers likely do not reflect the number of new infections spurred by Thanksgiving gatherings, The Wall Street Journal noted, since hospitalizations typically come within weeks of the corresponding infections.
Meanwhile, numerous states that seemingly flattened their infection curves over the summer have seen surges in recent weeks, including Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. California, another early epicenter of the virus, saw a single-day record of new infections Wednesday with 19,140.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) said Wednesday that the city will exhaust its hospital beds between now and Christmas if current infection rates do not drop. He added that daily infections within the city are three times the rate of early November.
“The public health condition of our city is as dire as it was in March in the earliest days of this pandemic,” he said, according to CNN.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield warned Wednesday that the winter months would put extreme pressure on the health care system. Public health experts have repeatedly warned cold weather will likely cause infections to surge as people gather inside.
“The reality is December and January and February are going to be rough times. I actually believe they’re going to be the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation, largely because of the stress that’s going to be put on our health care system,” Redfield said.