U.S. tops 150K COVID-19 cases in one day; experts predict rise to 330K

A masked woman checks the brightness of LED bulbs that will go onto the Salvation Army Christmas tree, in St. Louis, Mo., on Thursday. The tree will be lit next week. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Nov. 13 (UPI) — The United States for the first time has eclipsed the 150,000-case mark for a single day, according to updated data Friday, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to worsen nationwide.

A record 153,500 coronavirus cases were added on Thursday, tracking data at Johns Hopkins University shows. The new mark is 10,000 cases higher over the previous record on Wednesday.

The United States has now set new daily records for three consecutive days, during which there have been almost 440,000 new cases.

Since the first major spike on Nov. 3, there have been almost 1.3 million new cases nationally. At the start of the pandemic, it took the United States three and a half months to accumulate that many cases.

There were about 900 coronavirus deaths on Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins, which was a decline of several hundred from the previous day.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 10.6 million cases and about 242,500 deaths nationwide.

Nearly 4,000 more patients were hospitalized Thursday, bringing the total to 67,000, according to the COVID Tracking Project. The seven-day average is up at least 5% in 46 states.

Researchers at the University of Washington updated its forecast to project nearly 440,000 deaths by March 1. They also say deaths per day will rise to about 2,100 in mid-January, based on present control measures, but could rise to 4,700 per day if safeguards are eased.

The model forecasts the United States will reach a single-day high of 333,000 cases on Jan. 1.

In Illinois, Cook County officials on Friday issued a stay-home advisory in response to a recent surge in cases in suburban Chicago. Thursday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot gave the same advisory for the city.

Both advisories will take effect on Monday and last for at least 30 days.

Chicago has seen its daily case totals rise significantly over the past month and Cook County now has a positivity rate of almost 15%.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has said a full statewide stay-home order “seems like where we are heading.”

In California, the state has become the second in the nation to top 1 million total cases, according to Johns Hopkins. Texas did so earlier this week.

Residents in Los Angeles County could face “additional actions” to bring transmission rates under control, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said.

“If collectively we fail to stop the acceleration of cases, we will have no choice but to look at additional actions,” she said. “All around the country, elected officials and public health leaders are introducing new requirements to protect health care systems from becoming overwhelmed. We’ve been there before, just four months ago.”

In Colorado, hospitals are facing critical staffing shortages and a top health official expressed concern about possibly having to ration intensive care space. As many as a quarter of Colorado hospitals anticipate short staffs within the next week

Cases statewide reached a record high Thursday, according to data.


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