On Friday, the United States topped 20 million recorded COVID-19 cases.
There is also a record number of people hospitalized with the virus; Covid Tracking Project data shows that on Thursday, there were more than 125,370 coronavirus patients in U.S. hospitals. “Even without COVID-19, winter is an especially busy season for hospitals,” Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, said. In her state, the surge in cases has resulted in “more than 90 percent of intensive care unit beds [being] in use this week, with more than half of those beds occupied by COVID-19 patients.”
It took 292 days for the U.S. to reach its first 10 million cases, but only 54 more days to double it, CNN reports. December was the country’s worst month of the pandemic, with more than 6.1 million coronavirus cases recorded and 74,147 people dying of the virus. Public health experts believe this is due to people traveling for the holidays and gathering inside due to cold weather.