Number of COVID-19 infections reaches daily record in US

BILL HUTCHINSON
·4 min read

New daily COVID-19 cases in the United States hit a record 128,000 on Saturday as multiple states reported the highest number of positive infections since the pandemic began, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.

The latest data released on Sunday evening offered no signs that the virus is easing up. Sunday marked the fifth straight day new COVID-19 cases surpassed 100,000 in the country, according to the data.

At least 105,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Sunday, down slightly from the daily record set a day earlier. In just the past week, more than 715,000 people nationwide have tested positive for the virus, the data shows.

President-elect Joe Biden announced his transition COVID-19 advisory board on Monday morning. The task force will be led by three co-chairs: former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr. David Kessler and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, a professor of medicine at Yale University.

In his victory speech on Saturday night, Biden said defeating the virus will be the top priority of his administration.

"Folks, our work begins with getting COVID under control. We cannot repair the economy, restore our vitality or relish life's most precious moments -- hugging our grandchildren, our children, our birthdays, weddings, graduations, all the moments that matter most to us -- until we get it under control," Biden said.

PHOTO: Medical staff members treat a patient in the COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) at the United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Oct. 31, 2020. (Go Nakamura/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Medical staff members treat a patient in the COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) at the United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Oct. 31, 2020. (Go Nakamura/Getty Images)

He said the task force will be comprised of leading scientists and experts who will work on coming up with an "action blueprint" to fight the virus beginning on Jan. 20, the first day of Biden's administration.

"That plan will be built on bedrock science," Biden said. "It will be constructed out of compassion, empathy and concern. I will spare no effort, none, or any commitment to turn around this pandemic."

An ABC News/Ipsos poll conducted in late September indicated that 65% of Americans disapprove of President Donald Trump's handling of the COVID-19 crisis in the U.S.

On Sunday, the number of coronavirus cases globally surpassed 50 million and deaths from the virus climbed to 1,255,1851 as countries like France and Germany scrambled to cope with a second wave of the virus, according to the Johns Hopkins data.

MORE: Faces of some of the more than 235,000 lives lost in US to coronavirus

The total number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. was nearing the 10 million mark on Sunday, and deaths nationwide rose to 237,564.

COVID-related hospitalization also rose in all parts of the country and the numbers are now close to those seen during the spring and summer.

Several states reported all-time high case counts on Saturday.

PHOTO: A Curative mobile COVID-19 testing van drives down H Street in front of the White House in Washington on Friday morning, Nov. 6, 2020.  (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images)
PHOTO: A Curative mobile COVID-19 testing van drives down H Street in front of the White House in Washington on Friday morning, Nov. 6, 2020. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images)

Illinois reported 12,438 new COVID-19 cases, the highest daily total it has seen since the pandemic began. Illinois health officials also reported 76 additional deaths.

State officials said hospital admissions have doubled or tripled in some areas of Illinois over the past 30 days.

On Friday, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker pleaded with residents to wear masks when out in public and practice social distancing. The governor warned that more stringent mitigation measures, similar to his stay-at-home orders back in the spring, might have to be imposed to get a handle on the rising number of cases.

MORE: Illinois reports record single-day COVID cases, hospitalizations rising in Chicago

"It's the last thing I want to do, but I'm ready to do it," Pritzker said.

Other states were also reeling from climbing infection rates.

Wisconsin reported 7,065 new cases on Saturday, setting a new single-day record and bringing the total number of cases to 263,130 since the pandemic started. About 4.8% of COVID-19 patients in Wisconsin have required hospitalization, according to state health officials.

Indiana also broke its single-day record for new COVID-19 cases for the fourth consecutive day when it reported 5,007 new cases on Friday. State health officials recorded 43 more deaths from the virus on Friday and said hospitalizations climbed to an all-time high of 2,036.

MORE: Negative COVID-19 test required for Washington, DC, visitors from high-risk states: Mayor

Ohio also reported on Friday that it surpassed 5,000 new daily cases for the first time. The total number of positive cases in the state has now topped 240,000 and deaths rose by 33 on Friday. More than 5,490 people have died from the coronavirus in the state, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

The new Ohio numbers were released just days after Gov. Mike DeWine pleaded in an open letter for residents to come together, regardless of political affiliation, to fight a "common enemy."

The Republican governor implored Ohioans to immediately pull together and focus on fighting the virus, saying, "Time is not on our side."

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