LOS ANGELES - The United States hit another grim milestone on Friday, surpassing 13 million diagnosed cases of COVID-19, according to data from John Hopkins University. On Thanksgiving Day, the country broke another record, reporting more than 90,000 hospitalizations as the health care system strains under the coronavirus surge.
More than 264,000 people had died from the coronavirus in the U.S. alone as of Nov. 27.
On Thanksgiving Day, hospitalizations were the highest ever reported during the COVID-19 pandemic. As of Friday, more than 6,000 individuals were on a ventilator, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
The U.S. leads the world in the number of confirmed infections as the country continues to see a record number of new daily cases, hospitalizations and deaths. The news also comes as medical centers warn they are running out of beds and hospital capacity.
A top Cleveland Clinic official said this week that hospital systems in northern Ohio are running out of ventilators due to the worsening COVID-19 outbreak.
The number of new cases being diagnosed in the U.S. has been steadily rising since early October, data shows. In fact, the seven-day average number of new daily cases has hit a record high every day since Oct. 18 and has passed an average of 171,000 cases per day this week, FOX News reported.
Meanwhile, the U.S. is on track to surpass 4 million cases in the month of November alone, as the number of new infections in the U.S. alone hits new highs heading into the holidays and flu season.
And while the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as state and local authorities have begged people not to travel during the holidays, millions of Americans disregarded increasingly dire warnings that they stay home and limit their holiday gatherings to members of their own household.
About 900,000 to 1 million people per day passed through U.S. airport checkpoints from Friday through Wednesday, a drop-off of around 60% from the same time a year ago. Still, those were some of the biggest crowds since the COVID-19 crisis took hold in the United States in March. On Wednesday, the more than 1 million people screened at airports was the largest number since the start of the pandemic.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases topped 60 million globally on Wednesday, with more than 1.4 million deaths reported around the world.
According to the CDC, the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S. may be worse than was previously known. A new estimate by the agency indicates that there may have been as many as 53 million coronavirus cases in the U.S. by the end of September, which would be nearly eight times as many cases as had been reported by that time.
Many states have added new restrictions in response to rising COVID-19 cases, and state officials have announced decisions to shut down classrooms and businesses in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Health officials continue to warn the public that individuals may carry and transmit COVID-19 while showing only minor or no symptoms.
The CDC recommends following guidelines including wearing a mask, frequent hand washing and social distancing to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.