Virus deaths top 3,100 for a single-day record
The United States recorded over 3,100 COVID-19 deaths in a single day, obliterating the record set last spring, while the number of Americans in the hospital with the virus has eclipsed 100,000 for the first time and new cases have begun topping 200,000 a day, according to figures released Thursday.
The three benchmarks altogether showed a country slipping deeper into crisis, with perhaps the worst yet to come, in part because of the delayed effects from Thanksgiving, when millions of Americans disregarded warnings to stay home and celebrate only with members of their household.
Across the US, the surge has swamped hospitals and left nurses and other healthcare workers short-handed and burned out.
“The reality is December and January and February are going to be rough times. I actually believe they are going to be the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation,” Dr Robert Redfield, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Wednesday.
Health authorities had warned that the numbers could fluctuate strongly before and after Thanksgiving, as they often do around holidays and weekends. Because of reporting delays, the figures often drop, then rise sharply a few days later as state and local health agencies catch up with the backlog.