The US reported more than 80,000 new coronavirus infections Friday — the highest daily case number since the pandemic began.
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After changing PPE, an LPN dons her face shield at an Aveanna Healthcare and Fallon Ambulance walk-up COVID-19 testing site during the continuing coronavirus pandemic in Lynn, MA on Oct. 19, 2020. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
That comes amid other bleak patterns including rising hospitalizations and daily death tolls across the country, with experts warning that the worst is yet to come.
Friday’s case count of at least 80,005 surpasses the country’s previous one-day high of 77,362, reported July 16, according to Johns Hopkins University.
US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams cautioned earlier Friday that hospitalizations are starting to go up in 75% of the jurisdictions across the country, and officials are concerned that in a few weeks, deaths will also start to increase.
The good news, Adams said, is that the country’s Covid-19 mortality rate has decreased by about 85% thanks to multiple factors, including the use of remdesivir, steroids and better management of patients.
More than 41,000 Covid-19 patients were in hospitals across the country Thursday, according to the Covid Tracking Project. This is the highest level of nationwide coronavirus hospitalizations since August 20.
The number of people hospitalized has increased by 33% since the beginning of October, the CTP says.
Deaths are also creeping upward, with 856 on Thursday, Johns Hopkins says. The seven-day average of daily deaths has climbed to 763 — the highest average in a month.
In White House coronavirus task force reports obtained by CNN this week, officials say there are “early signs of deterioration in the Sun Belt and continued deterioration in the Midwest and across the Northern States.” And more state leaders have sounded the alarm on increasing infections, hospitalizations and deaths.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said Friday that he’s concerned about a massive surge in Covid-19 cases across the country and urged people to “double down” on measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
“The upticks on the map of more than 30 States that are having upticks is not going to spontaneously turn around unless we do something about it,” Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN’s Erin Burnett.
Fauci has previously said he doesn’t think a federal mask mandate would work but on Friday he said it might be time for it — even if such a rule would be tricky to enforce.
“Well, if people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it,” Fauci said.
A vaccine trial resumes after being halted
Drug manufacturer AstraZeneca announced Friday it will resume the trial of its experimental coronavirus vaccine in the US.
The company said the US Food and Drug Administration has given approval to continue the trial after reviewing all of the global safety data and concluding it