U.S. News

U.S. COVID-19 daily cases pass 180K; death toll approaches spring spike

By Jean Lotus   |   Nov. 26, 2020 at 10:55 AM
Thanksgiving holiday travelers thronged the Los Angeles International Airport as active COVID-19 cases and deaths continued to rise in the United States. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI

Nov. 26 (UPI) -- The number of COVID-19 cases reported in the United States has risen for the fourth straight day and the one-day death toll is approaching numbers not seen since the spring, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Updated data show the number of new confirmed active cases on Wednesday was 181,490. The number of deaths reported Wednesday was 2,297, the second day in a row that more than 2,000 patients died in a single day since May. The record is about 2,600 on April 15.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 12.78 million cases and more than 262,000 deaths in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins. Wednesday was the eighth time in nine days that cases passed 150,000.

Close to 90,000 people in the United States are hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those, 17,500 are in intensive care, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday that the state had 3,056 COVID-19 hospitalizations, as of Wednesday, a rise of 74 since Tuesday. Sixty-seven people died in New York from COVID-19 on Wednesday, Cuomo said, urging New Yorkers to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday safely. The state has adopted a new "micro-cluster" strategy, which ranks regions by the percentage of positive cases.

"The spread is going to be from pre-symptomatic people who don't even know they have the virus," Cuomo said Thursday. "It's not that they're going to be malicious. It's going to be accidental and involuntary. So what appears safe is no longer safe in this crazy world."

In Wyoming, Gov. Mark Gordon (R) tested positive for the virus, his office announced Wednesday. Gordon has minor symptoms and will continue working remotely, the governor's office said. State government offices had been closed for a deep cleaning after another employee tested positive, and it was unclear where Gordon was exposed since he had not attended any public events over the past two weeks, policy adviser Renny MacKay told The Casper Star-Tribune.

In Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis (D) announced Wednesday that he would voluntarily self-quarantine for 14 days after being exposed to someone who tested positive for the virus. Polis said he had tested negative for the virus.

Several U.S. governors have tested positive for COVID-19 including Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D), Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) and Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) and Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D).

Denver's Mayor Michael Hancock faced criticism for boarding an airplane Wednesday to Mississippi to visit his wife and daughter for Thanksgiving after publicly asking Denver residents to cancel extended family gatherings for the holiday and avoid travel.

Hancock apologized saying he traveled so other family members wouldn't have to. "I made my decision as a husband and father," Hancock tweeted. "For those who are angry and disappointed, I humbly ask you to forgive decisions that are borne of my heart and not my head."

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control posted updated recommendations Nov. 19 that families celebrating Thanksgiving together should have guests bring their own food, drinks, plates, cups and utensils and celebrate outdoors or with windows open, if possible. Guests should avoid going in and out of food preparation areas and hosts should disinfect touched surfaces and items between use, the agency said.