For the first time in the coronavirus pandemic, more than 60,000 Americans are hospitalized for Covid-19, according to The COVID Tracking Project, which also reported yet another record for new cases Tuesday—130,989, as the pandemic continues to worsen.
61,964 Covid-19 hospitalizations were reported in the U.S. Tuesday, breaking a record that had stood since April 15, when 59,940 were in the hospital.
The record for new cases was also broken, topping 130,000 for the first time, but the old record had stood for just three days.
1,347 deaths were reported, which is the most since Aug. 19, according to The COVID Tracking Project, which collects its data from local reporting agencies.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
The grim impacts of the third U.S. coronavirus surge are starting to be felt. Hard-hit El Paso, Texas is running out of morgue space, while Tulsa ran out of ICU beds Monday night. In North Dakota, hospitals are at capacity and the state is now taking the extreme step of allowing Covid-positive nurses to keep working in some cases amid a serious staffing shortage.
New cases have been rising exponentially since mid-September, with no signs of slowing up. Hospitalizations starting rising around a week later—a rate that has been on the increase. Deaths, which lag behind rises in other metrics, remained relatively steady until around Oct. 18. The death toll has been on a steady rise ever since, with the 7-day rolling average now just shy of 1,000 per day.
President-elect Joe Biden says that fighting coronavirus is a top priority of his incoming administration. He announced a 12-member Covid task force on Monday, with the goal of coming up with a plan to combat the pandemic. That’s in contrast to President Donald Trump, whose administration has not come up with a national plan while the president has continued to make false statements that the U.S. is “rounding the turn” on coronavirus.