More than 100,200 Americans were hospitalized as of Wednesday due to the coronavirus for the first time since the outbreak began in early 2020, per the COVID Tracking Project.
The big picture: The milestone comes as health officials anticipated cases to surge following holiday travel and gatherings. The impact of the holiday remains notable, as many states across the country are only reporting partial data updates.
- More hospitals are running out of beds or turning away new patients, limiting the care available to both coronavirus patients and those with other health care emergencies, Axios Caitlin Owens reports.
Flashback: The daily rate of new coronavirus infections rose by about 10% in week leading up to Thanksgiving, continuing a dismal trend that may get even worse in the weeks to come.
- Before the Thanksgiving holiday, the COVID Tracking Project warned of a "double-weekend pattern.
- "Far fewer people will be tested on Thanksgiving Day, and perhaps on the day after as well, and then the usual weekend pattern will begin," it said.
- "Death reporting, too, will slow down for an unknown number of days."
What to watch: That backlog is expected to clear sometime this week, resulting in a potentially confusing surge on all metrics.
By the numbers: The U.S. reported 13.7 million cases (confirmed and probable), 1.4 million tests, 196,000 cases and 2,733 deaths on Wednesday.
- To date, 264,522 people in the country have died from the virus.
- California confirmed more than 20,000 COVID-19 infections on Wednesday — the highest daily case count for any state to date.
- Wednesday's virus death count is the second highest on record following May 7, and marks the first time deaths have exceeded 5,000 in a two-day stretch.