Coronavirus Cases: Hospitalizations in U.S. Hit Record High

Medical workers direct traffic at the University of Texas-El Paso (UTEP) coronavirus drive-thru testing site in El Paso, Texas, November 9, 2020 (Jorge Salgado/Reuters)

Over 59,000 people were hospitalized with coronavirus in the U.S. as of Monday, the highest levels seen yet during the pandemic.

Hospitalization levels are an important indicator of the severity of coronavirus outbreaks because they are not influenced by numbers of tests completed in the general population. Over the past month, hospitalizations have risen by over 70 percent, Reuters reported.

“I think we’re in for a really hard phase of this pandemic, really the most difficult phase of the pandemic right now,” former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a Monday appearance on CNBC’s The News with Shepard Smith. Gottlieb was appointed by President Trump and served as commissioner from 2017 through 2019.

Texas leads the number of hospitalizations with 6,103, followed by Illinois (4,409) and California (3,668). Media outlets are reporting an increased strain on hospital systems and staff because of the rising wave of patients, including in New Mexico, Wisconsin, and Kansas. Over 6,600 patients died during the week ending on November 10, and 238,000 Americans have succumbed to coronavirus since March.

The spread and scope of the current outbreak make it the largest coronavirus wave of the pandemic so far, with roughly one million new cases reported during the past ten days. 10.2 million cases have been reported in the U.S. since the pandemic began, meaning about 3 percent of the country’s population has contracted coronavirus at some point.

In encouraging news on Monday, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that their coronavirus vaccine candidate is 90 percent effective in trials and may receive emergency authorization from the FDA by the end of November. However, even if the vaccine is authorized it will take many months to distribute doses to the general population.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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