The number of Covid-19 infections in the United States have been skyrocketing since Thanksgiving, and impacts from Christmas and New Year’s celebrations are still unfolding.
Hospitals around the States are racing to keep up with the surging Covid-19 patients at numbers they have not seen at any other time in the pandemic.
On Sunday, the country reported 125,544 current Covid-19 hospitalizations, setting a new record. The number has exceeded 100,000 for more than a month.
The US state of California alone reported 45,352 Covid-19 infections on Sunday, pushing hospitals and exhausted staff to the edge.
Overall the United States has reported over 21 million confirmed infections and over 360,000 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic last year.
“This is about total collapse of the health care system if we have another spike,” said Dr. Brad Spellberg, chief medical officer at the Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center.
“And we, in the hospital, cannot stop that. We can only react to it. It is the public that has the power to put a stop to the spread of this virus by obeying the public health guidance that have been put out.”
The surging case load has also affected vaccine rollout.
The Trump administration planned to vaccinate 20 million people by the end of 2020, but the results so far have fallen well short.
More than 13 million vaccine doses have been distributed by the federal government to states and local counties, but only 4.2 million vaccine doses have been administered. Those include doses of both the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Sunday the United States has fallen behind on administering vaccines but hopes momentum will pick up in the first few weeks of January.