US posts 1 million new coronavirus cases in one week as 19 states reach record hospitalisations

On average, the US has reported about 141,000 new cases per day

Danielle Zoellner
New York
Wednesday 18 November 2020 15:16
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The United States has hit multiple grim milestones, as the coronavirus surges throughout the country.

In just one week the country recorded one million new Covid-19 cases, meaning one in every 331 Americans tested positive for the novel virus last week alone. The US now has more than 11.3 million cases, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The surge in coronavirus cases in most states across the country has caused concern among public health experts who are worried the upcoming holiday season could further spread the virus. On average, the US has reported about 141,000 new cases per day – breaking all previous records from the first surge in March and April.

Cases are not the only data point on the rise in the country.

Hospitalisations have also increased, and states like Texas and Wisconsin are reporting overrun hospitals due to the number of Covid-positive patients.

On Tuesday, 19 states recorded a record high hospitalisations since the pandemic started, according to the Covid Tracking Project. Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, Wyoming all recorded individual hospitalisation highs.

Across the US, 76,823 people were hospitalised for the novel virus on Tuesday alone, according to the CTP.

What does the surge in hospitalisations mean? Well states hospitals in multiple regions are experiencing staffing shortages.

From 4 November to 11 November, 958 hospitals – about 19 per cent of the total hospitals in the US – reported staffing shortages, according to new data from the Health and Human Services, first reported by The Atlantic.

This week, 1,109 hospitals are now reporting that they expect staffing shortages, making up 22 per cent of all hospitals in the country.

Mortality rates in the US are also on the rise, though not as rapidly as the surge in cases and hospitalisations. Healthcare professionals understand more how to treat the novel virus, which has helped keep mortality rates lower.

But more than 248,000 Americans have died from the novel virus thus far, a number far greater than any other country. The country is expected hit the milestone of 250,000 deaths within the next two days.

In March and April, the coronavirus surge was largely credited to the coastal states of New York, California, and Washington. But now the Midwestern states are leading the increase in cases, and states like North Dakota have record mortality rates among its residents.

Leaders in multiple states have implemented stricter coronavirus restrictions ahead of the holiday season in an effort to curb the current surge. Public health officials are also imploring Americans to cancel their holiday plans.  

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