US records more than four million Covid cases in a month for first time

The US set a new record for Covid-19 hospitalisations on Sunday, as the country recorded more than four million coronavirus cases in a month for the first time.

Data from the Covid-19 Tracking Project showed that 93,219 people were hospitalised for coronavirus in the US on Sunday, breaking the previous record of 91,635 that was set a day earlier.

At least 24 states, including Indiana and Kentucky, also recorded peak hospitalisations, as more than 6,000 patients were treated with ventilators.

The total number of Americans hospitalised for coronavirus has increased every day since 25 October, except for 27 November, as Covid-19 cases across the country have also risen dramatically.

The US recorded four million coronavirus cases in a month for the first time over the weekend, which more than doubled the previous record of 1.8 million set in October.

The record-breaking figures were released amid the Thanksgiving period, which has seen millions of Americans travel across the country, against the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More than 1.1 million people travelled across the US by plane the day before Thanksgiving, which also marked the highest daily coronavirus figure in the country since March, according to NBC News.

At least 6.6 million people flew across the US in the seven-day period before Thanksgiving, which was the highest weekly figure since the week of 14-20 March. Millions more travelled to see family by car.

Last week, Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease experts, warned US residents against travelling and said that the increased use of airports over the Thanksgiving period is “going to get us into even more trouble than we’re in right now”.

Speaking on ABC’s This Week on Sunday, Dr Fauci reiterated his concern and warned that the US “may see a surge upon a surge,” of coronavirus cases, as doctors across the country are braced for a further rise in positive tests and hospitalisations.

“We don’t want to frighten people, but that’s just the reality. We said that these things would happen as we got into the cold weather and as we began traveling, and they’ve happened,” he added.

Dr Celine Gounder, a member of President-elect Joe Biden’s Covid-19 advisory board, echoed Dr Fauci and said that hospitalisations will continue to increase over the next couple of weeks, as coronavirus symptoms can take up to 14 days to appear.

“We fully expect that in about a week or two after Thanksgiving we will see an increase in cases first, then about a week or two later you’ll start to see an increase in hospitalisations, and then another week or two after that you’ll start to see deaths,” Dr Gounder told CBS News.  

She added: “Unfortunately, that means that many people who celebrated with family, with friends over Thanksgiving will find themselves in the hospital, in ICUs over Christmas and New Years.”

According to a tracking project hosted by Johns Hopkins University, there are now more than 13.3 million people who have tested positive for coronavirus in the US. The death toll has reached 266,887.

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