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COVID-19 daily cases hit record of more than 200,000

COVID-19 daily cases hit record of more than 200,000
A shopper wears a mask while holding bags as she rides an escalator while shopping at a retail store in Herald Square on Black Friday in New York City on Friday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 28 (UPI) -- The United States hit a record high of more than 200,000 COVID-19 cases on Friday with hospitals already at the brink and a surge expected.

On Friday, 205,557 new cases and 1,403 new deaths were reported, updated figures Saturday from the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center showed.

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Experts warned that testing sites observe shorter hours over the Thanksgiving holiday, so fewer people get tested, which may lead to the illusion that the virus is spreading less than it actually is.

Still, the United States reported 89,834 hospitalizations on Friday after hitting a record 90,000 hospitalizations on Thanksgiving Day, according to the COVID-19 Tracking Project.

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The same tracker also shows new daily COVID-19 cases hitting over 100,000 every day since Nov. 4.

Hospitals at the brink are bracing for a new surge with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration screening more than 5 million travelers in the week leading up to Thanksgiving.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, travel increase chances of getting COVID-19, which could be spread for 14 days after exposure to the virus.

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Though vaccine inoculations are possible in the spring, according to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, things are expected to get worse before they get better.

"If anything, we are rounding the corner into a calamity," Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and a visiting professor at George Washington University Milken Institute of Public Health told CNN. "We're going to exceed well more than 2,000 deaths, maybe 3,000, 4,000 deaths every single day here in the U.S."

The United States has reported the most cases and most deaths of any country at more than 13 million cases and more than 264,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins global tracker.

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Daily cases have increased in 32 states and Pennsylvania, Arkansas and Massachusetts broke records.

North Dakota has the most cases per 100,000, and New Jersey has the most deaths per 100,000, according to The New York Times database.

Thirty-seven state now require masks in public, according to AARP, with governors of Iowa, North Dakota and New Hampshire recently implementing new orders for residents to wear masks.

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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced the day before Thanksgiving people who traveled out of state for the holiday except for immediate neighbors in New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Delaware, should voluntarily self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving, PennLive reported.

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In Ohio and most of California, state leaders have imposed curfews.

In Los Angeles County, health officials announced a new stay-at-home order prohibiting all public and private gatherings with people outside the household to take effect Monday through Dec. 20.

"Residents are advised to stay home as much as possible and always wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when they are outside their household and around others," the county's public health department said.

In New Mexico, the "reset" order reenacting a heightened level of COVID-19 restrictions statewide that closed in-person services except for essential activities, to take effect Nov. 30 through Dec. 2, shifted to a county-by-county framework, the governor's office said Friday.

The shift allows "counties and the businesses and nonprofits within their borders to operate with fewer restrictions when they slow the spread of the virus and drive down test positivity rates," said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham in a statement.

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