U.S. Reports 100,000 COVID-19 Hospitalizations 40 Days in a Row

Carolyn Crist

January 12, 2021

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

Registered nurse Kyanna Barboza adjusts the ventilator on her COVID-19 patient at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. California health authorities reported Thursday a record two-day total of 1,042 coronavirus deaths as many hospitals strain under unprecedented caseloads.

The U.S. has reported more than 100,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations for 40 days in a row.

More than 129,000 COVID-19 patients were in hospitals across the U.S. on Sunday, according to The COVID Tracking Project. The highest total so far — more than 132,400 hospitalizations — was recorded Jan. 6.

To stem the spread of the virus, officials need to ramp up preventive measures related to social distancing and face masks, as well as widespread vaccination, Scott Gottlieb, MD, former commissioner of the FDA, said Sunday on the CBS News show Face the Nation .

"We really need to get this vaccine out more quickly because this is really our only tool,"he said. "We need to acknowledge that it's not working … We need to hit the reset and adopt a new strategy in trying to get that out to patients."

State officials are trying to open up more vaccination sites to make that happen. In Los Angeles, Dodger Stadium will become a vaccination site this week, according to CNN. New York City is also opening three new 24/7 vaccination sites this week.

In the meantime, COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths could make January the deadliest month of the pandemic, CNN reported. More than 28,000 deaths have been reported so far, following the record-high 77,000 deaths in December.

"We should expect to set new records for cases, hospitalizations, and deaths over the coming weeks," Joe Gerald, MD, a professor at the University of Arizona's Zuckerman College of Public Health, told CNN. "Policy action is urgently needed to mitigate the worst possible outcome."

Other countries are battling high numbers and vaccine challenges as well, according to the BBC. The UK is now facing the deadliest point of the pandemic so far with numbers higher than last year's peak.

"We've got to be very clear that we're now at the worst point of this epidemic for the UK, in the future we will have the vaccine, but the numbers at the moment are higher than they were in the previous peak — by some distance," Chris Witty, the chief medical officer for England, told the BBC on Monday.

The new few weeks will be the "most dangerous time" as vaccines are being rolled out and people build immunity to the virus, he said. About 1 in 50 people in the UK have contracted the virus, he added, including about 1 in 20 in some parts of London. Whitty urged people to avoid non-essential contact with others.

"There's a very high chance that if you meet someone unnecessarily, they will have COVID," he said.

Sources

COVID Tracking Project, "Totals for the US."

CBS News, "Full transcript of "Face the Nation" on January 10, 2021."

CNN, "Covid-19 vaccination plan 'not working,' former FDA official warns."

BBC, "Covid: 'Most dangerous time' of the pandemic, says Prof Whitty."

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