US sets new record of two million coronavirus infections in two weeks

James Crump
In this file photo taken on 17 November 2020 a Covid-19 testing site staff member explains how to take a self-administered coronavirus test to a person in their car at a drive-up testing site in Los Angeles, California ((AFP via Getty Images))
In this file photo taken on 17 November 2020 a Covid-19 testing site staff member explains how to take a self-administered coronavirus test to a person in their car at a drive-up testing site in Los Angeles, California ((AFP via Getty Images))

The US set a new record of two million coronavirus cases over a 14 day period, after the country recorded more than one million Covid-19 cases for consecutive weeks for the first time since the pandemic began.

According to The New York Times’ coronavirus tracking system, the US recorded at least 1.2 million cases over the past week and around 1.1 million in the seven days before.

The country had not recorded more than 500,000 coronavirus cases in any seven day period before November.

There was an average of 175,270 daily cases recorded over the last seven days, which represented an increase of 42 per cent from two weeks earlier.

Hospitalisations and deaths from coronavirus have also increased dramatically over the past two weeks, as the US saw a 14 day rise of 48 per cent for the former and 61 per cent for the latter.

More people are currently hospitalised in the US due to Covid-19 than at any other point throughout the pandemic, while there were 2,203 fatalities in the country on Tuesday.

More than 40 states have seen a sustained increase in coronavirus cases over the last few weeks, while November is already the worst month recorded for at least 2,000 US counties.

When adjusted for population, North Dakota is the worst affected state in the country, as one in 10 residents have tested positive for the virus, according to the Times.

Despite the alarming increase in coronavirus cases, millions of Americans are set to ignore the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidance to not travel for Thanksgiving.

Using research from the insights firm IHS Markit, the American Automobile Association estimated that at least 50 million Americans will travel across the US for Thanksgiving from Wednesday until Sunday, according to MarketWatch.

Last week, Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease experts, warned US residents against travelling and said that the increased use of airports over the Thanksgiving period is “going to get us into even more trouble than we’re in right now”.

However, there was positive news on Tuesday evening, as CDC director Robert Redfield said that a Covid-19 vaccine could start being rolled out across the US next month.

During an interview on Fox News’ The Daily Briefing on Tuesday evening, Mr Redfield was asked by host Dana Perino about the development of potential coronavirus vaccines.

He told US residents to continue being careful, and added: “You don't want to be the last group to end up getting Covid, because the vaccine is going to begin to be rolled out probably by the end of the second week of December.”

According to a tracking project hosted by Johns Hopkins University, there are now more than 12.5 million people who have tested positive for coronavirus in the US. The death toll has reached at least 259,937.

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