(NEW YORK) — With flu season rapidly approaching, health officials say the United States is heading in the wrong direction when it comes to containing the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the nation on track to break its daily infection record for a third time, the U.S. is heading toward its third peak.
In April, the nation logged a record of reporting roughly 30,000 new infections daily, but that number more than doubled in July and became the new record. The nation averaged 66,143 new cases a day over the span of the week, a number the nation hasn’t seen since the summer.
However, numbers are heading in the same direction as the nation is recording a seven-day average of 53,282 new cases.
With winter approaching and infections rising in 38 states, along with hospitalizations increasing in 39 states, health officials are worried about the strain placed on hospitals and the nation’s health care system.
“This is getting to a point where we’re going to be opening up overflow ICUs,” said Dr. Eddie Stenehjem, an infectious disease physician at Intermountain Healthcare, told KTVX. “We may have beds to take care of these patients, but our staff is getting incredibly tired and short and our ICU nurses are working around the clock.”
In addition, 13 states have reported increasing numbers of COVID-19 fatalities.
COVID-19 has infected over 8.1 million Americans and killed nearly 220,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.