The United States set a record for new coronavirus cases for a second consecutive day, reporting more than 144,000 new infections for Wednesday. The tally, released by Johns Hopkins University on Thursday, was up from nearly 140,300 a day earlier. Since the start of the pandemic, the US has recorded 10.4 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 241,800 virus-related deaths, far more than any other country, according to the Baltimore-based university. The nation is in the grips of a third wave of the pandemic, with caseloads on the rise again since September. Hospitalizations and deaths are increasing, with nearly 2,000 fatalities reported on Wednesday, the most since May, according to the university’s tracker. New daily coronavirus cases have topped 100,000 for over a week. The surge is widespread across the US, with Illinois and North Carolina among the states recording all-time highs.
Health experts are worried that with colder weather and people spending more time indoors, the virus will spread more rapidly, and local authorities are cracking down with new mitigation efforts. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was among the latest officials to announce new restrictions on Wednesday, including ordering bars and restaurants in the state to close by 10 pm and capping parties at 10 people.
President-elect Joe Biden warned of a “very dark winter” ahead this week, while President Donald Trump has repeatedly falsely claimed the country is “rounding the turn.”