The United States has surpassed another grim milestone as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to run rampant throughout the country.
The nation continues to shatter records in terms of daily number of cases and deaths in a single day.
For the first time in the pandemic, the United States saw more than 4,000 people die from COVID-19 in a single day. Also this week, the U.S. surpassed 300,000 daily coronavirus cases for the first time.
Overall, over 372,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, leading the world by far – the next closest country, Brazil, sits at just over 200,000 deaths.
The United States leads the world by far in terms of coronavirus cases, account for nearly a quarter of the world's 89 million cases. The next closest nation, India, has just over 10 million cases. Worldwide, 18 nations have over 1 million coronavirus cases as the world as nations reckon with a new coronavirus variant, first identified in the United Kingdom, that is seemingly more easily transmissible.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that newly emerging variants of the coronavirus may impact the outcome of some molecular COVID-19 tests.
In a statement released on Friday, the FDA said it alerted clinical laboratory staff and healthcare workers that more contagious variants of the coronavirus may not be detectable in some tests, resulting in false negative results.
“The FDA will continue to monitor SARS-CoV-2 genetic viral variants to ensure authorized tests continue to provide accurate results for patients,” FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn wrote in a statement. “While these efforts continue, we are working with authorized test developers and reviewing incoming data to ensure that health care providers and clinical staff can quickly and accurately diagnose patients infected with SARS-CoV-2, including those with emerging genetic variants.”
States around the country are experiencing alarming rises in COVID-19 cases.
Nevada is reporting one of the state’s highest daily increases in coronavirus deaths since the pandemic began, and its worst week yet.
The state on Saturday reported 2,648 additional known COVID-19 cases and 56 additional deaths. That’s close to the record of 60 deaths reported only on Wednesday. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that the state’s one-week total of 299 COVID-19 deaths was the worst yet.
Nevada has now had 246,309 known COVID-19 cases and 3,450 deaths since the pandemic began.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Nevada increased from 2,115.3 on Dec. 25 to 2,373.6 on Friday while the rolling average of daily deaths rose from 33.6 to 35.4, according to data from Johns Hopkins University and The COVID Tracking Project.
Officials anticipate a spike in cases and deaths in coming weeks, following Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s gatherings.
California health authorities on Saturday reported a record high of 695 coronavirus deaths as many hospitals strained under unprecedented caseloads.
The state Department of Public Health said the number raises the state’s death toll since the start of the pandemic to 29,233.
A surge of cases following Halloween and Thanksgiving produced record hospitalizations in California, and now the most seriously ill of those patients are dying in unprecedented numbers.
Already, many hospitals in Los Angeles and other hard-hit areas are struggling to keep up and warned they may need to ration care as intensive care beds dwindle.
Arizona, which is a COVID-19 hot spot in the United States, has now recorded more than 10,000 deaths and 600,000 confirmed cases since the pandemic began.
The Department of Health Services reported 11,094 new cases and 98 deaths on Saturday, the second straight day that Arizona’s new confirmed cases exceeded 11,000.
The daily numbers brought Arizona’s total confirmed cases to 607,345 and the state’s death toll in the pandemic to 10,036.
Arizona and Rhode Island are tied for the country’s highest COVID-19 diagnosis rate, with 1 in every 109 people diagnosed with the disease between Jan. 1 and Friday.
There were 4,920 COVID-19 patients occupying hospital beds on Friday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.