Hospitals beds on Monday were filled with roughly 59,000 COVID-19 patients across the United States — a new record according to a count by Reuters.
The record high tally comes as new COVID-19 infections have jumped to their highest levels yet for the sixth day in a row — passing the 100,000 mark — as the nation’s ability to combat the virus spirals further out of control.
The data shows that the United States is facing what may be the worst phase of the COVID-19 crisis to date.
Meanwhile, even as pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced late stage testing of a vaccine that it said was at least 90% effective in protecting against COVID-19, President-elect Joe Biden urged Americans to wear masks noting that if approved, distribution of the vaccine to a majority of the population would likely take many months.
The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the United States, has surged around 73% over the past month to at least 59,008 by Reuters’ count — a spike that surpasses a high last set in late July when 58,370 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized for the virus on July 22.
Texas led with the highest number of hospitalized patients — more than 6,000 — followed by Illinois and California who reported roughly 4,400 and 4,700 patients respectively, according to the Reuters tally.
President-elect Joe Biden vowed over the weekend to “marshal the forces of science” to combat the coronavirus crisis in the United States, and on Monday announced a coalition of scientists and experts who would head up a coronavirus task force in his incoming administration as the country has reported more than 10 million cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
COVID-19-related deaths over the past week also increased by more than 6,600 people, or 15 percent over the previous week’s toll –the highest one-week total since mid-August.