The U.S. added more than 184,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases over the weekend, as the country continues to set records for daily infections, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus Resource Center.
It has been about four weeks since the U.S. overtook India to see the most daily cases of any country in the world. While India’s case numbers spiked in September, they have largely been on a downward path since then. But cases in the U.S. continue to surge. For the first time, the country’s seven-day moving average of new cases has surpassed 150,000.
The United States is also the world leader in coronavirus fatalities, with over 244,000 COVID-19 related deaths. More than 1,400 people died from the virus in the U.S. on Friday — the most deaths that day of any country.
For the moment, daily deaths are below the peak of around 2,200 daily fatalities the US saw in April. But deaths are known to lag behind rising infection rates, as it often takes several weeks for the virus to become fatal. This week, officials in El Paso requested four additional mobile morgues to add to the six already in place.
“It’s getting bad, and it’s potentially going to get a lot worse,” Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told The New York Times. “The months ahead are looking quite horrifying.”
Coronavirus hospitalizations are rising throughout the country, with more than 68,000 people in the hospital Friday. It’s the highest number seen throughout the entire pandemic, surpassing the last peak, in July.
Facing a potentially punishing winter, several states have begun reimplementing curfews and various restrictions. Massachusetts imposed a statewide curfew; California and Connecticut have banned dine-in service at restaurants in several counties; New York has required bars and restaurants to close daily by 10 p.m.
But eight months after the first major restrictions began, it remains to be seen just how far government can go before drawing backlash. A substantial number of Americans still refuse to even heed the government’s warning to wear masks. Most people rallying in support of the defeated presidential incumbent in Washington, D.C., on Saturday weren’t wearing masks.