For the first time in almost two months, fewer than 100,000 Americans are hospitalized for Covid-19.
The United States on Sunday reported 95,013 Covid-19 hospitalizations, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project. And 97,561 patients were hospitalized Saturday. The last time the number was below 100,000 was December 1.
Yet the seven-day average of new cases is still about the same as it was December 1. Even worse, the average number of daily deaths is more than double what it was then.
January has been by far the deadliest month of the pandemic: At least 95,245 people died from Covid-19 in January, surpassing December's total of 77,486 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
"Right now it's the worst of possible worlds. It's the winter. It's getting cold out, people are together more, there's still a critical number of people in the United States who don't wear masks, who don't social distance," said Dr. Paul Offit, a member of the Food and Drug Administration's vaccine advisory committee.
"I think the next six weeks or two months are going to be rough. I think we could have another 100,000, 150,000 deaths."
He's not alone in that prediction. About 120,000 more Americans could die from Covid-19 over the next two months, according to the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
So health experts are urging all Americans to double down on wearing masks and keeping their distance from others.
And while vaccine makers and officials scramble to get more Americans vaccinated, they're racing against the spread of highly contagious strains of coronavirus that are now in the US.
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