An ensemble forecast by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projects another 31,000 people could lose their lives over the next two-and-a-half weeks.
Hospitalizations in New Mexico have shot up by 260% in the last month, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said, and health officials added they expect to run out of general hospital beds “in a matter of days.”
“Reported deaths from the Midwest are rising as well, several weeks into that region’s case surge,” the project said.
Thursday set another record for new cases
At least 235,616 Americans have died, and there have been at least 9,686,673 US cases since the pandemic’s start, Johns Hopkins University data show.
By Friday afternoon, Johns Hopkins had reported 79,337 new cases and 689 deaths.
The US reported more than 121,000 infections Thursday, beating a daily case record it set just 24 hours earlier. Wednesday’s record of more than 100,000 cases was the first time the US hit a six-figure number.
That means in just two days, the country reported more than 220,000 positive tests, bringing the past week’s total to more than 660,000 new cases of the virus.
Many states, meanwhile, are also seeing record highs.
In October, 31 states reported at least one record-high day of new cases.
And at least 38 states are reporting more new Covid-19 infections than the previous week, according to Johns Hopkins. Only two US states — Alabama and Tennessee — are trending in the right direction.
Thursday also marked the third day in a row that the nation lost more than 1,000 people to the virus, with 1,120 deaths.
The US now averages 895 deaths a day, and the number is rising rapidly, Johns Hopkins data show. Three states reported record-high deaths on Thursday: New Mexico, North Dakota and Tennessee.
Hospitals are reaching capacity
In the first five days of November — as the country has focused on elections — 22 states reported at least one record-high day of Covid-19 hospitalizations, according to data from the Covid Tracking Project.
The states are: Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
In Kansas City, hospitals are reaching capacity because of the strain of Covid-19, officials say.
Chief medical officers from seven hospital systems told reporters that city hospitals could be overwhelmed in a matter of weeks. They said that hospitalizations in the region were at their highest levels since the pandemic started.
A major concern, they added, is that there wouldn’t be enough staffing at hospitals to support patients with the virus.
“Covid is the leading admission diagnosis” at the University of Kansas, said Dr. Steven Stites, chief medical director at the University of Kansas Health System.
Meanwhile, Colorado’s Department of Health and Environment said Friday that the newest Covid-19 model indicates state hospitalizations are increasing more sharply than last week’s projections.
The state has reached its greatest number of Covid-19 hospitalizations to date, surpassing its peak in April, the department said in a news release.
“Keeping hospitals at or below demand capacity will require substantial and rapid action to prevent transmission,” according to the release.
New state restrictions include curfews
With the virus now running rampant across American communities, several state and local leaders have pushed new measures to help curb the spread.
Officials in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Denver, for example, are recommending nightly curfews.
On Friday, Denver officials announced a 10 p.m. curfew for residents and nonexempt businesses — a last-ditch effort to curb rising cases and avoid another citywide stay-at-home order.
The curfew, which Mayor Michael Hancock called a “Home By 10 Order,” goes into effect on Sunday and will last 30 days. It differs slightly from a traditional curfew because it came from the city’s health department rather than the mayor’s office.
That means that public health officials will enforce the order rather than law enforcement.
Gatherings such as house parties have been the main source of virus spread in the state, the governor added. And if those don’t stop, she said, “I will be back in two weeks with a shutdown order.”
Earlier this week, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont recommended that residents stay home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. to limit socializing. New measures on Friday will further limit restaurants, religious ceremonies and event spaces, with the governor also tightening restrictions around private gatherings through Thanksgiving.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday that he was asking people not to come to the state through its airports without proof of a negative test.
Cuomo added that the state was doing well in its battle against the virus compared to the rest of the country.
Several micro-cluster areas across the state are being downgraded. And Brooklyn and Queens, which have previously been hit hard by the virus, are among the areas in a good position, he said.
CNN’s Amanda Watts, Ben Tinker, Haley Brink, Sheena Jones, Melissa Alonso, Lucy Kafanov, Laurie Ure and Kay Jones contributed to this report.