Hospitals around the United States are racing to keep up with surges of Covid-19 patients at numbers they have not seen at any other time in the pandemic.
At least 123,639 people nationwide were in the hospital with coronavirus on Saturday, marking 32 consecutive days that the number of hospitalizations has exceeded 100,000, according to the Covid Tracking Project.
Impact of festive season continues to be felt: Cases have skyrocketed after the Thanksgiving holiday, and impacts from Christmas and New Year's celebrations are still unfolding. As of Saturday, more than 20.4 million people have been infected with the virus in the US and at least 350,186 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. And health experts worry what will happen to those numbers if infections continue to spread.
"This is about total collapse of the health care system if we have another spike," said Dr. Brad Spellberg, chief medical officer at the Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center.
And we, in the hospital, cannot stop that. We can only react to it.
It is the public that has the power to put a stop to the spread of this virus by obeying the public health guidance that have been put out."
A difficult start to the new year: As Americans rang in the new year, almost 11,000 families grieved the new loss of a loved one to Covid-19.
At least 10,901 Covid-19 deaths were reported in the last three days of 2020, according to Johns Hopkins University. That's about 3,633 deaths a day -- more than the number of lives lost in the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US.
In less than 11 months, Covid-19 has killed more than 349,000 people in the US. And another 115,000 Americans could die from the disease over the next month, according to projections by the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
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