For the first time since mid-August, the U.S. has recorded its third consecutive day of more than 50,000 new COVID-19 cases as forecasters predict a death total as high as 233,000 by the end of the month.
At least 57,420 new infections were reported across the country on Friday, bringing the total U.S. infections to over 7.6 million as of Saturday, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University. There were 56,191 new cases Thursday and 50,341 reported on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, a forecast by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hat combines data from nearly 40 independent models predicts U.S. deaths from COVID-19 could hit 233,000 by the end of the month. To date, over 213,800 people have died from COVID-19in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins.
“This week’s national ensemble forecast indicates an uncertain trend in new COVID-19 deaths reported over the next four weeks and predicts that 2,800 to 6,800 new deaths will likely be reported during the week ending October 31,” the CDC said on its website Thursday.
As the holidays approach and cold weather sets in, the statistics will likely get bleaker.
“It’s important for all of us to not let our guard down during Thanksgiving,” Dr. Deborah Birx of the White House Coronavirus Task Force said Friday at a media briefing in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “We see that from the High Holy Days, people are just yearning to be together.”
The sobering statistics reflect a surge of new hotspots in the U.S. A USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data through late Friday shows nine states set records for new cases in a week while three states had a record number of deaths in a week.
New case records were set in Alaska, Colorado, Indiana, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. Record numbers of deaths were reported in Kansas, Missouri and South Dakota.
According to Johns Hopkins statistics as of Oct. 9, the case numbers for Vermont, the District of Columbia, North Carolina, Montana and New Mexico grew the fastest during the past week compared to the preceding seven days.