More Americans than ever before are in the hospital with the coronavirus, as admissions with the deadly infection spike to more than 90,000.
The United States passed the grim milestone on Friday, with 90,481 patients in a medical facility and more than 6,000 of them on a ventilator, according to the COVID Tracking Project. That number dipped over the weekend.
The caseload has put hospitals in various states under strain as officials struggle to find ventilators and capacity, FOX 13 reported.
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A Cleveland Clinic official said that hospital systems in northern Ohio were short on supplies as the pandemic spirals out of control.
The number of confirmed infections crossed 13 million around the same time – a threshold reached at a frightening pace after the country hit 12 million cases less than a week prior.
Daily new cases have passed an average of 171,000 per day.
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Thirty-two states are seeing increases in new daily cases, with Pennsylvania, Arkansas and Massachusetts breaking records, according to CBS News.
State officials have urged increased restrictions in the month ahead, even as news of vaccines offers a timeline and hope for a return to normalcy.
Moncef Slaoui, chief science adviser of the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed vaccine development initiative, said that the project believes that it can deliver up to 20 million vaccine doses a month, achieving 70% immunization around May 2021, which Slaoui says will effectively be herd-immunity.
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A panel of U.S. advisers will meet Tuesday to vote on how scarce initial supplies of a COVID-19 vaccine will be given out once one has been approved.
In the meantime, though, officials urged individuals to avoid traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday – a time regularly touted as the busiest travel day of the year.
While airline industry leaders projected a massive decrease in travel volume – only 30%-40% of last year’s traffic – around 1 million people passed through travel checkpoints over the days leading up to the holiday.
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The CDC says that the U.S. case count is likely eight times higher than previously thought due to a range of complications, including underreporting, false negatives and asymptomatic carriers who never tested.