The United States has just recorded the highest number of daily COVID-19 deaths in six months - as infections and hospitalizations continue to spike to records highs across the country.
The death toll spiked to 1,893 on Wednesday, which is the highest number of fatalities since May 8 during the initial peak of the outbreak.
It puts the seven-day rolling average of fatalities back over 1,000 per day - a figure not seen since August. The average death toll had hit lows of 600 last month before gradually increasing.
Infections across the country hit a record high for the second consecutive day with 144,133 cases on Wednesday. New cases have continued to soar to all-time highs of more than 120,000 per day over the past week.
The number of hospitalizations across the US also continues to spike to single-day highs with more than 65,000 patients currently being treated.
While new cases and hospitalizations have been surging since October, the number of Americans dying per day has not been rising at the same rates.
Deaths, which are a lagging indicator and can potentially rise weeks after infections, are still down from the peak 2,000 fatalities recorded per day in the spring.
The US death toll spiked to 1,893 on Wednesday, which is the highest number of fatalities since May 8 during the initial peak of the outbreak. The average number of deaths, which are a lagging indicator and can potentially rise weeks after infections, are still down from the peak 2,000 fatalities recorded per day in the spring
While fatalities could still potentially rise given it takes time for people to get sick and die, doctors believe the death toll might not be as bad as the initial waves because doctors now better know how to treat severe cases, meaning higher percentages of the COVID-19 patients who go into intensive care units are coming out alive.
Patients also have the benefit of new treatments, namely remdesivir, the steroid dexamethasone and an antibody drug that won emergency-use approval from the Food and Drug Administration this week.
Health officials have warned, however, that patients could start dying if hospitals become overwhelmed.
More than 241,000 Americans have now died from COVID-19 and there have been 10.4 million confirmed cases.
A forecast from the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics estimates that the death toll could reach nearly 400,000 by February. Researchers forecast that 63,000 lives could be saved if the majority of Americans wear masks and social distance.
Cases per day are currently on the rise in 49 states and deaths per day are climbing in 39.
Midwestern states, including North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, are currently seeing a surge in fatalities - weeks after cases and hospitalizations started to spike in those regions.
Texas on Wednesday became the first state with more than 1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and California followed closely behind with more than 984,000 cases.
Despite the uptick in cases and hospitalizations in those two populous states, deaths are not trending upwards.
Infections across the country hit a record high of 144,133 cases on Wednesday. New cases have continued to soar to all-time highs of more than 120,000 per day over the past week
The number of hospitalizations across the US also continues to spike to single-day highs with more than 65,000 patients currently being treated
CALIFORNIA: Based on tiered system that affects counties differently. In hard-hit areas like Los Angeles County, people urged to stay at home. Bars, restaurants and gyms all closed. LA parks and golf courses are still open.
CONNECTICUT: Restaurants must stop table service at 9.30pm and private gatherings have been cut to 10 people.
IDAHO: Outdoor gatherings limited to 25% of maximum capacity and indoor ones to 50 people. Customers must remain seated in bars and restaurants.
ILLINOIS: No indoor service in bars or restaurants, which must also close at 11pm. Gatherings are limited to 25 people.
NEW MEXICO: Retail business must close by 10pm. Food and drink establishments can offer no more than 25% capacity for indoor dining.
NEW YORK: Bars, restaurants and gyms must close at 10pm. Indoor private gatherings limited to 10 people.
NEW JERSEY: Restaurants, bars, clubs and lounges to stop indoor dining by 10pm. All barside seating prohibited. All interstate games and tournaments for indoor K-12 sports banned.
MINNESOTA: Restaurants and bars must shut by 10pm.
Health experts have blamed the current surges, in part, on the onset of cold weather and growing frustration with mask-wearing and other public health measures.
California, New York and several states across the Midwest have now started tightening