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US sets record in daily COVID-19 cases with 188K, records 2K deaths in a day for 1st time since May

US sets record in daily COVID-19 cases with 188K, records 2K deaths in a day for 1st time since May
Posted at 6:17 AM, Nov 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-20 08:46:48-05

The U.S. reported yet another daily high mark for newly reported cases of COVID-19 on Thursday with nearly 188,000, according to a database kept by Johns Hopkins University.

The U.S. reported at least 187,833 positive COVID-19 tests on Thursday, breaking the all-time record of 177,224 that was set six days prior, on Nov. 13.

Thursday marked the eighth time in November that the U.S. broke the daily record for newly reported cases as the COVID-19 continues to spread across the country. About 2.5 million people in the U.S. have contracted the virus since the start of November.

The spike in cases has led to all-time highs in hospitalizations linked to the virus. The COVID Tracking Project reports that more than 80,000 people are currently hospitalized with the virus across the country — an all-time record that surpasses even the early portions of the pandemic.

According to the COVID Tracking Project, 71% of those hospitalizations occur in the Midwest and South, leading to many rural hospitals running short on resources. Some states like South Dakota and Iowa say their hospitals are at their breaking points.

Thursday also saw reports of 2,000 deaths linked to the virus — the first time the U.S. has seen that many reported deaths in a single day since May 6. Since Oct. 17, daily deaths linked to COVID-19 on a seven-day rolling average have nearly doubled from about 700 a day to more than 1,300 a day.

The continued spike comes amid a rash of promising news in the hope for a COVID-19 vaccine. On Friday, Pfizer announced that it had filed for Emergency Use Authorization for its vaccine candidate, two days after initial studies showed it to be 95% effective in large-scale trials. Several other drugmakers have also reported that their vaccines are on the precipice of authorization.

However, health experts warn that the U.S. is in for a rough few months. Vaccines will initially need to be rationed for people in high-risk populations and health care workers. Dr. Anthony Fauci has said he believes vaccines won't be widely available until April.