As the US nears an average of 200,000 Covid-19 cases a day, experts say "behavior and cold weather" are behind the current surge gripping American communities.
"People are going indoors, they're not minding the three W's," Health and Human Services secretary, Alex Azar, told Fox News's Chris Wallace Sunday. "Our advice is always the same. Wash your hands, watch your distance, wear face coverings."
Health experts have long warned that the holiday season would bring a spike in coronavirus cases as people increasingly gather indoors. As of Sunday, the US averaged 196,233 new cases over the last week, another record high, according to a CNN analysis of Johns Hopkins data.
More than 14.7 million confirmed cases have been reported in the US since the pandemic began, and more than 282,310 people have died.
And with the recent spike in cases, record hospitalizations have followed. On Sunday, 101,487 patients were in the hospital with the virus, the fifth consecutive day the US surpassed 100,000 hospitalizations.
Holiday season warning: Only a week after millions traveled for the Thanksgiving holiday, the US has still not seen the full effects of a potential surge of infections fueled by the gatherings. And Azar told ABC's George Stephanopoulos the holiday season might have more devastation in store.
"We're worried about people and the behaviors coming up with Christmas," he said. "We want to make sure everyone's loved ones are there next Christmas, especially when we have so much hope of vaccines."
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