By Adam Martin
Newly reported Covid-19 cases in the U.S. hit a record high, as did deaths reported in a day, as the global death toll from the coronavirus pandemic passed 1.5 million.
Hospitalizations also hit a record, with 100,667 people in the U.S. admitted as of Thursday, according to the Covid Tracking Project. Of those, a record 19,442 people were in intensive care.
The country reported 217,664 new cases on Thursday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, up from 200,055 on Wednesday, and surpassing the previous record of 205,557 set Friday last week.
Newly reported deaths also surged Thursday, to 2,879, according to Johns Hopkins data, the second daily record in a row. The U.S. reported 2,804 deaths on Wednesday.
Nationally, more than 14 million have been infected and more than 276,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins data. World-wide, more than 65.2 million people have been infected and more than 1.5 million have died.
California, which leads the U.S. in total cases, set another record for newly reported cases in a day on Thursday, with 21,368, according to Johns Hopkins data. Gov. Gavin Newsom has said the state would issue new stay-at-home orders in regions where hospital intensive-care unit availability drops below 15%.
California has recorded 1.29 million infections and more than 19,500 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins data. Texas, the second hardest-hit state in terms of cumulative infections, has recorded more than 1.286 million infections and 22,573 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins data.
Illinois and Texas led the nation in new fatalities, reporting more than 200 deaths each on Thursday, just as they did Wednesday, Johns Hopkins data show. A number of other states—including Colorado, Iowa and Nevada—all recorded their highest number of daily deaths since the pandemic began.
Reporting varies by state, and deaths recorded on a day may have happened on a different date. The Thanksgiving holiday was expected to disrupt Covid-19 data reported from counties and states across the country. In general, the reporting of data over the average weekend can cause spikes in reported numbers, as gaps and backlogs of cases are reported.
But even with reporting gaps, the seven- and 14-day averages, which smooth out irregularities in data, are trending upward. The seven-day average of new deaths in the U.S. nearly doubled to 1,603 on Wednesday from 828 on Nov. 1, reaching its highest level since May 11, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of data from Johns Hopkins.