U.S. sets record for most COVID-19 cases in a single day — almost 188,000

A masked pedestrian walks through Times Square in New York City on Thursday. In nearby Newark, N.J., residents are being ordered to stay home for 10 days starting the day before Thanksgiving. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

Nov. 20 (UPI) — The United States has set another record for most COVID-19 cases in a single day and again added a one-day death toll higher than any other since the early months of the pandemic, according to data Friday from Johns Hopkins University.

There were about 187,800 new cases nationwide on Thursday, the data shows — topping the previous single-day record of 177,000, set a week ago.

The United States has set daily case records six times in the last nine days, according to Johns Hopkins.

Deaths nationally also saw a grim milestone on Thursday. The data shows that about 2,000 coronavirus patients died, the first time the daily toll has exceeded 2,000 since early May. About 5,600 patients have died in the past three days alone, according to Johns Hopkins.

The daily case average has grown more than 70% in the last two weeks, according to health news website Stat.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 11.73 million cases and about 252,600 deaths in the United States.

An updated outlook by researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation now forecasts about 471,000 U.S. deaths by March — about 30,000 more than the forecast showed a week ago.

“The pace of increase is faster than we expected, leading us to revise upward our forecast of deaths,” researchers said. “This forecast assumes that 40 states will re-impose social distancing mandates as the daily death rate exceeds 8 per million.

“If they do not, the death toll could reach 658,000 by March 1. Hospital systems in most states will be under severe stress during December and January even in our reference scenario.”

Hospitalizations nationwide exceeded 80,000 for the first time Thursday since the start of the crisis, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

In New Jersey, residents in Newark will be asked to stay home for 10 days starting the day before Thanksgiving, Nov. 25.

“We are, from Wednesday before Thanksgiving to Dec. 4, going to lock the city down,” said Newark Mayor Ras Baraka.

Newark, the largest city in New Jersey, has seen a rapid surge of cases in recent days.

“You’ll get naysayers — these people live in another world that I don’t live in. Most people in this town are going to do what we ask them to do,” Baraka said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday asked Americans not to travel for the holiday due to the surge in cases, hospitalizations and deaths nationwide.

In California, Los Angeles County reported more than 5,000 new cases for the first time Thursday.

New cases are accelerating quicker now than they did during July and the seven-day average has risen by almost 70%.

County residents could be under stay-at-home orders as soon as Sunday, county health officer Dr. Muntu Davis said during an online briefing.

“At this point, no one should be still underestimating the spread of this virus,” he said.

In Pennsylvania, new restrictions will take effect in Philadelphia later Friday afternoon. Under the measures, indoor gatherings and dining are prohibited. The rules will stay in place until at least Jan. 1.

Philadelphia saw its daily case average reach a record level last week, and the state reported a record number of patients hospitalized on Wednesday.


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