The U.S. recorded over 100,000 new cases of covid-19 on Wednesday, according to the Covid Tracking Project. The shockingly high daily case count is a grim milestone that public health experts warn may be surpassed in the coming days and weeks.
The country tallied 103,087 new cases of coronavirus and 1,116 deaths from the disease on Wednesday, with hospitalizations continuing to rise steadily by the day. There are currently 52,049 Americans hospitalized with covid-19 as of Wednesday night, according to the latest figures compiled by the Covid Tracking Project.
The pandemic is hitting the Midwest particularly hard right now, with many hospitals at the brink of capacity. Wisconsin’s ICU beds are currently over 88% occupied, according to the state’s covid-19 website. Hospitals in the Twin Cities of Minnesota are at 98% capacity.
South Dakota currently has the highest hospitalization rate in the country, relative to population, with 526 people per million in the state hospitalized with covid-19. North Dakota is close behind with 462 people per million hospitalized, while Montana has 381 covid-19 patients hospitalized per million.
Thirty-four of the nation’s 50 states reported over 1,000 new cases on Wednesday, another record. Wisconsin reported over 6,000 new cases, Illinois reported over 7,000 new cases and Minnesota reported over 3,000 new cases.
The U.S. has identified over 9.4 million covid-19 cases since the pandemic began earlier this year, and at least 233,000 deaths for coronavirus, the highest in the world. Both numbers are believed to be an undercount since many cases are asymptomatic and people often have no idea they’ve been infected.
The coronavirus pandemic is also ravaging other countries in Europe, including the UK, Spain, France, and Germany. But several countries are instituting new lockdown measures in an attempt to break the cycle of infection and ensure that their hospital systems aren’t overwhelmed.
The new lockdowns, like the one in the UK, are controversial, as so-called covid-fatigue sets in. But masks are crucial to public health, especially when universal masking is not an option. Britain, like the U.S., has seen resistance by the general public from people who don’t want to wear masks. England is even imposing fines for people who won’t wear masks, but there are still a lot of people who refuse to take the most basic public health precautions seriously during a pandemic.
But many other countries have been able to get their coronavirus figures down to manageable numbers, with China, South Korea, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand all doing better than much of the rest of the world. Australia, for instance, saw a bad second wave of the virus start in July, but went into lockdown and currently has no community transmission of the disease.
It’s going to be a long winter in the U.S., no matter who wins the election between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. The votes are still being counted in crucial swing states like Pennsylvania and Arizona, but even if Biden wins, he doesn’t take office until January 20. In the meantime, Americans have to fend for themselves as President Trump continues to endanger the country by not acting to protect people from covid-19.
Stay safe out there, friends.