Spc. Demetrie Barnett of the Nevada National Guard administers a COVID-19 test during a preview of a free COVID-19 testing site in the parking garage of the Texas Station Gambling Hall & Hotel on November 12, 2020 in north Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ethan Miller | Getty Images
The United States reported another record one-day surge in Covid-19 cases on Thursday as the outbreak becomes more severe and overwhelms some hospitals.
The country reported more than 153,400 new cases on Thursday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. This is the third consecutive day record in the U.S., according to a CNBC analysis of Hopkins data, bringing the seven-day average of new cases to over 131,400, an increase of more than 32% from a week.
It’s not just cases. More than 67,000 people are currently hospitalized with Covid-19 across the country, more than at any other time during the pandemic COVID tracking projectrun by journalists in the Atlantic. The number of people who die from the disease every day is also increasing.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, said Friday that “a number of factors” are driving the outbreak, including people who are tired of following public health measures. He said this was a particular problem as the country approaches Thanksgiving in about two weeks, when many Americans are expected to travel across the country to see family and friends and possibly bring the virus with them.
Fauci urged Americans to wear a mask, practice social distancing, wash hands frequently, and follow other public health measures.
“If we do the things that are simple public health measures, that increase will moderate and gradually decrease,” he said on CBS.This morning. “” You add that to the aid of a vaccine, we can reverse that. It’s not pointless. “
Fauci added that “we need to get more testing into the community” to identify people who have no symptoms but are infected and are spreading the virus. Tests have increased significantly across the country, but as infections spread, epidemiologists say more tests are needed.
While some, including President Donald Trump, have said increased testing is driving the surge in cases, the data does not confirm it. The seven-day average of the new tests on Thursday was over 1.4 million, an 8.3% increase from the previous week, according to a CNBC analysis of data from the COVID tracking project. The increase in cases far exceeds this with a weekly increase of more than 32% on average per week.
The so-called positivity rate has also increased. Epidemiologists say the percentage of positive tests can be a helpful number in determining if an outbreak is spreading and if enough tests are being done in an area. In the US, the mean positivity rate after seven days rose from 7.2% a week ago to 9.1%, according to Hopkins.
The surge in the virus is starting to overwhelm hospitals in some areas. Dr. Alan Kaplan, CEO of UW Health at the University of Wisconsin, said Thursday his system’s hospitals are overwhelmed in both rural and urban communities.
“We are always low on staff, either because they have Covid or because they have another disease, and we have to rule out Covid before we get them back to work,” he said.Squawk on the street. “” There is no excess now. “
– Charts from CNBCs Nate Rattner.