The U.S. is battling a record number of COVID-19 cases and a mounting death toll in the new year, with more than 23,000 coronavirus-related fatalities reported in just eight days, according to data from The COVID Tracking Project.
Friday saw a record single-day case total, with approximately 310,000 cases recorded. The group attributed much of the large uptick to New Jersey and California, which had nearly 20,000 and more than 50,000 infections, respectively.
Our daily update is published. States reported 2.1M tests, a record 310k cases, 131,889 COVID-19 hospitalizations, and 3,777 deaths. The 7-day averages for cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are at record highs. pic.twitter.com/lCaomGRg5P— The COVID Tracking Project (@COVID19Tracking) January 9, 2021
The tracking project recorded approximately 3,777 coronavirus-related deaths on Friday alone, bringing the U.S. total to 23,083 for the past eight days.
In its daily report Friday, the tracking project also noted that 16 states — including California, Arizona, West Virginia, Texas and South Carolina — recorded their highest numbers of hospitalizations related to COVID-19 this week.
8 days into the new year, and we've already seen 23,083 COVID-19 deaths. pic.twitter.com/ywIXj3svSV— The COVID Tracking Project (@COVID19Tracking) January 9, 2021
In total, the U.S. has recorded more than 21.8 million coronavirus infections since the start of the pandemic last year and a death toll of nearly 367,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The escalating health crisis was overshadowed this week by a riot that rocked Capitol Hill, with a pro-Trump mob swarming the U.S. Capitol, resulting in clashes with police and several deaths. The riot forced lawmakers to evacuate and delayed congressional certification of the Electoral College results.
U.S. leaders, including President TrumpDonald TrumpHeadaches intensify for Democrats in Florida Stormy Daniels set to testify against former lawyer Avenatti in fraud trial Cheney challenger wins Wyoming Republican activists' straw poll MORE, have largely remained silent on the pandemic in the aftermath of the riot Wednesday, with the president facing mounting pressure to step down before President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenUS threatens sweeping export controls against Russian industries Headaches intensify for Democrats in Florida US orders families of embassy staff in Ukraine to leave country MORE takes office later this month.
Biden announced Friday that he would implement a shift in strategy for rolling out COVID-19 vaccines to help stem the pandemic. Biden's transition team said he would move to release almost all vaccine doses immediately, instead of holding back half of available doses as the Trump administration has done to make sure that those who get their first shot have available vaccines to get a second dose.
Nearly 6.7 million people have already received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine out of more than 22 million total doses distributed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The numbers are much lower than initially promised by the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed.
On Wednesday, the U.S. set another record for coronavirus deaths, with 3,685 deaths recorded by Johns Hopkins University in a single day.
As states battle the surge in cases and continue to implement widespread restrictions on activities to slow the spread of the virus, a new, more transmissible strain of the virus originally found in the United Kingdom has already been recorded in several states.
Projections released last week by the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation predict there will be 150,000 additional coronavirus-related deaths in the country over the next month, as experts say the coming months will be the most dangerous since the pandemic began last year.