(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — The U.S. hit another grim milestone in the fight against COVID-19, a quarter million American lives lost to the virus. That is nearly 20 percent of the world’s fatalities. Since the onset of the pandemic, the U.S. has lost 250,140 lives to COVID-19.
That number is expected to increase at a much quicker rate due to surging hospitalization numbers across the country.
19 states are reporting a record number of hospitalizations — Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.
In addition, four states have reported a record number of deaths: Iowa, Kentucky, New Mexico and Wisconsin.
In addition, the U.S. accounts for over 20 percent of the globe’s COVID-19 cases, with Johns Hopkins University recording nearly 11.5 million positive cases as of late Wednesday.
The U.S. added an additional 154,266 cases on Tuesday, reports the COVID tracking project.
Health officials are urging Americans to remain vigilant and to continue practicing social distancing measures to help prevent the further spread of the virus. This applies to the recent announcement of two viable vaccine candidates from Pfizer and Moderna, both with an efficacy rate of over 90 percent.
However, while both companies are working to have vaccines approved and distributed to the public — the consensus appears that most Americans will not be able to receive it until spring 2021, with a potential sense of normality returning in fall 2021.