(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — The U.S. is racing toward a grim new milestone — 15 million COVID-19 cases, says Johns Hopkins University. The nation’s death toll topped 280,000 deaths on Saturday and, on Sunday, reported nearly 3,000 new fatalities related to the virus.
Health officials say these numbers will continue to grow higher at a much faster pace, referencing a trend that sparked last month where the nation reported 100,000 new COVID-19 cases a day. This trend has been carrying on for over a month straight.
From Thursday to Sunday, that number increased to 200,000 cases a day, pushing the nation’s weekly number of new cases to a new high at 1.3 million. This is double than last month’s number.
Over 15,000 new COVID-related deaths were reported over the last week, with the past five days recording over 2,000 daily deaths.
Considering those factors, that amounts to roughly 88 deaths an hour nationwide.
Hospitalizations are on the rise, as well, which is concerning health officials due to stressed hospital systems already approaching max capacity.
As of Sunday, over 101,000 people have been hospitalized, double than November’s number.
The Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar spoke on ABC’s This Week on Sunday and stressed that, to help stop the breakneck pace of new record daily deaths and cases, Americans must abide by COVID-19 guidance such as wearing masks when out in public and to practice social distancing as well as frequent handwashing.