[NFA] New U.S. COVID-19 infections climbed by more than 177,000 on Friday, setting another daily record, according to a Reuters tally, and in another troublesome trend, the U.S. has averaged over 1,000 deaths per day for the past seven days, a trend last seen in August.
(SOT: PETER CHIN HONG, USCF PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE, INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST) "It's like little coronavirus bombs going off." COVID-19 deaths have spiked to rates not seen since the summer and that is raising alarms all across the U.S. Deaths are averaging more than 1,000 a day for seven days now...a jump of 50 percent from just a month ago.
The trend is heading in the wrong direction, experts say, though the number of deaths is not as high as in the spring when the pandemic first hit.
More than 177,000 new infections were reported Friday - a new daily record - with new cases staying above 100,000 for 10 straight days, according to a Reuters tally.
Hospital beds are filling up fast and intensive care units are running out of space in many states like Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Republican Governor Charlie Baker: "We're announcing today we are going to re-establish a field hospital with 240 beds." Patients have more than doubled in 13 states over the past two weeks, most of them in the Midwest.
Doug Burgum, the Republican governor of North Dakota, announced a state-wide mandate on Friday.
"Right now, the data demands a higher level of mitigation efforts to reverse this dangerous trends, to slow the spread of the virus and to avoid the need for any economic shutdowns.
The state health officer with my full support has issued an order requiring face coverings to be worn in all indoor businesses and public settings and outdoor public settings." He’s not alone.
The dire situation has prompted a growing list of state and local governments to re-impose restrictions they eased during a summertime ebb in COVID-19 outbreaks.
Governors in the western states of California, Washington and Oregon issued a joint advisory against out-of-state travel.
And in Oregon... (SOT: OREGON GOVERNOR KATE BROWN) "It's a very dangerous situation." Governor Kate Brown, a Democrat, is restricting get-togethers effective immediately.
"It's about social get-togethers, which are limited to two households or a maximum of six people." Californians have been hit particularly hard.
Only California and Texas have had a total of more than 1 million COVID-19 infections.
Steve Cavin is a resident of Eureka, California: "I have 5 grandchildren.
We normally do get together for Thanksgiving and Christmas but not this year because of COVID." In the Northeast, the region hit hardest in the early months of the pandemic, the governors of six states planned an emergency meeting this weekend to coordinate responses.
With colder temperatures driving people indoors, the situation is expected to get much worse across the country before it gets better.
Michael Osterholm is on President-elect Joe Biden's coronavirus advisory board.
"We're about to see by far the darkest days of this pandemic between now and next spring before vaccine.
Don't be surprised at all when we hit 200,000 cases a day." At the current rate of infection, the U.S. is likely to reach that grim milestone rather quickly.