You won’t believe how bad coronavirus numbers are about to get in the US

  • Health officials tracking the coronavirus spread estimate America’s caseload will nearly double in two months.
  • More than 20 million Americans will be infected by January 20th, according to a forecast from the Washington University in St. Louis.
  • A different model says an additional 140,000 lives will be lost in the following two months to COVID-19 complications.

More than 196,000 Americans received a positive COVID-19 diagnosis on Friday, and it’s the current record for new cases in a single day by any country. But the milestone will soon be surpassed, as the virus is still raging across the US and current measures to contain the spread are not sufficient. Travel has reached an all-time high ahead of Thanksgiving, despite the CDC’s advice not to stay home this holiday season. A new model now says that America will nearly double its caseload within two months.

That’s a terrifying estimate, foreshadowing the record number of infections and additional fatalities. Vaccines are almost here, but there won’t be enough supply to contain the spread of the illness — and many people are still apprehensive about vaccines to begin with. It’s true that doctors can save more COVID-19 patients now than at the beginning of the pandemic, but as the number of cases increases and overwhelms hospitals, thousands of people will still die of COVID-19 complications.

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The forecasting model from the Washington University in St. Louis says the US will double its current numbers by January 20th. At the moment, more than 12.4 million Americans have been infected with the novel virus, according to official tallies. The new estimate says America will reach 20 million cases in less than two months, suggesting that the current uncontrollable surge is far from over.

More than 3.1 million people were infected in the US since the start of November alone, CNN reports. That’s the highest number of cases reported in a single month so far, but that record will be crushed in December if the new model is accurate.

The number of hospitalization has also reached another high at more than 85,500 people. Health officials worry that some regional medical systems will soon reach full capacity and won’t be able to serve additional patients.

Authorities report an increase in infections in children, on top of everything else. CNN cites a joint report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association saying that more than 256,000 juvenile COVID-19 cases were reported between November 5th and November 19th. Since the pandemic’s start, nearly 1.2 million children have tested positive, or 12% of all COVID-19 cases in states that report infections by age. The data comes from 49 states, New York City, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

The number of COVID-19 deaths is also increasing steadily. The fatality curve doesn’t follow the daily case curve, and that’s because doctors are thankfully able to save more lives. But the increased strain on hospitals combined with a record number of cases will still lead to thousands of deaths each day. In the last week alone, more than 10,000 people died of COVID-19 in the US. More than 257,000 people have died in the US since the start of the pandemic. Projections from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation suggest that another 140,000 people might die over the next two months.

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