The number of coronavirus cases surpassed 12 million Saturday — an increase of more than 1 million cases in less than a week.
Almost every state has reported a rapid surge in cases, and nationwide numbers have been climbing much faster than ever before — with the country reporting a staggering 2.9 million infections since the beginning of the month.
On Friday, more than 195,500 new infections were reported — the country’s highest for a single day, and far beyond what the nation was seeing just weeks ago. The highest number of single-day cases during the country’s summer surge was a little more than 77,100 in July, Johns Hopkins University data shows.
The US on Friday also recorded its highest number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals on a given day: just over 82,100 — according to the COVID Tracking Project.
Rising death rates typically follow rising hospitalizations. In just the past week, more than 10,000 US deaths have been reported — nearly double the weekly death toll of just a month ago.
The numbers offer just a glimpse at the devastation the pandemic has unleashed across American communities, with some cities ordering mobile morgues to handle the excess deaths, while hospitals in other parts have reported overwhelmed ICUs and exhausted staff.
In Texas, a team of 36 National Guard personnel were sent to El Paso to help the city cope with the surge of Covid-19 deaths, the Texas Division of Emergency Management said Saturday, and El Paso has found a central location for an additional morgue, according to Mayor Dee Margo.
The virus is still running unabated in the US and the rate of rising cases is now “dramatically” different from what it was before, White House Coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx told CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Dr. Esther Choo, professor of emergency medicine at Oregon Health & Science University, said the real case count is likely to be “multitudes” higher than the 12 million reported because not enough people are getting tested.