The number of Americans hospitalized by the coronavirus topped 100,000 for the first time Wednesday.
According to the Covid Tracking Project, there were a total of 100,226 patients nationwide suffering from COVID-19. The number of hospitalizations has more than doubled in the past month, and hospitals have seen record numbers of coronavirus patients on a nearly daily basis since early November, as a new surge sweeps the country.
The U.S. has averaged 161,179 new cases a day in the past week, and that number is only expected to grow after millions of people likely contracted the virus while traveling and gathering over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Many hospitals are already at or near capacity, and there is growing alarm that they will soon be overwhelmed.
“December and January and February are going to be rough times,” Dr. Robert Redfield, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Wednesday. “I actually believe they’re going to be the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation, largely because of the stress that it’s going to put on our health care system.”
As of Wednesday night, the U.S. has had 13.9 million coronavirus cases, with more than 273,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, both by far the most in the world.