U.S. Posts New Records in COVID Deaths, Hospitalizations

Ralph Ellis

December 31, 2020

Editor's note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center.

The United States is wrapping up 2020 with record-setting coronavirus numbers.

The Covid Tracking Project reported 125,220 COVID-19 hospitalizations and 3,903 COVID-19 deaths in the United States on Wednesday ― both one-day records.

That death count included a backlog of about 200 deaths reported in Washington state, but "even without this backlog, today's total would still be the highest to date," the Covid Tracking Project said on Twitter.

The daily averages in those categories over 7 days were a little different ― about 121,000 hospitalizations and 2,280 deaths.

December has been the deadliest month in the pandemic, with more than 70,000 deaths. The second deadliest month was April, when about 55,000 Americans died of COVID.

Overall, the United States has reported 19.7 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 342,000 coronavirus-related deaths during the pandemic ― far more than any other nation in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University.

New York has the most deaths, 37,800, with most of those occurring last spring. California, the most populous state, has reported the most cases ― over 2.2 million.

How high will the death count go? The CDC revised its ensemble prediction on Wednesday and now says 383,000 to 424,000 COVID-19 deaths will be reported by Jan. 23.

A Covid Tracking Project blog urged caution when interpreting trends in COVID-19 data because of holiday disruptions in data collection.

"We aren't expecting a return to normal reporting until closer to the middle of January," the blog said.

Of the Covid Tracking Project's four "topline metrics" ― weekly tests, weekly cases, average weekly hospitalizations, and weekly deaths ― "only hospitalization counts remain relatively stable through holiday data disruptions," the blog said.

Sources

Covid Tracking Project on Twitter

Covid Tracking Project 7-day averages in deaths

Covid Tracking Project national deaths

CDC. COVID-19 Forecasts: Deaths

Covid Tracking Project. "All Eyes on Hospitalizations: This Week in COVID-19 Data, Dec 30"

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