The U.S. will finish the month of November with more than 4 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, by far the most it has recorded in any month since the beginning of the pandemic.
According to a database kept by Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. recorded 4.3 million new cases of COVID-19 throughout the month of November. That represents more than 30% of the 13.3 million cases recorded throughout the country since the virus reached the U.S. in February.
Throughout November, the U.S. set 10 daily records for newly-reported COVID-19 cases. The peak came on Friday, when Johns Hopkins says the U.S. saw more than 205,000 new cases — though those numbers may have been skewed by the Thanksgiving holiday when some local governments chose not to report new info.
The mountainous increase in cases has resulted in a frightening increase in hospitalizations and hospital resource use. According to the COVID Tracking Project, a record 93,000 Americans across the country were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Monday morning, an all-time record. On Oct. 31, that figure stood at just over 47,000.
While hospitalizations have spiked across the country, 66% of those hospitalized are in the Midwest and South, meaning many rural hospitals in those regions are at capacity. With hospitals full, doctors and nurses are struggling to treat patients who are suffering from other emergency ailments.
Sadly, the number of deaths from COVID-19 has steadily increased throughout the month. As of Monday morning, an average of 1,436 Americans had died of COVID-19 each day for the last week. On Oct. 31, that figure sat at just over 800.
Therapeutics and new treatments for the virus have caused the death rate to fall since the springtime when nearly 2,500 Americans were dying every day. But despite the improvements in treatments, the U.S. continues to lose about as many Americans every two days that were lost in the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.
And while several companies have reported encouraging news regarding potential vaccines in recent weeks, health experts warn the pandemic will get much worse before they are widely available.
Prior to Thanksgiving, Dr. Anthony Fauci — America's top infectious disease expert — warned that the holiday could cause the rate of transmission to rise exponentially, given that some celebrations included large indoor gatherings.
"The chances are that you will see a surge superimposed on a surge," Fauci said.