The United States set a record for daily coronavirus infections on Friday, recording nearly 228,000 new cases.
According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. added 227,885 new cases on Friday, passing a previous high of 217,000 set on Thursday.
The high mark comes just days after the U.S. surpassed 14 million coronavirus infections and set a new record for single-day coronavirus deaths with 2,879 fatalities.
Another 2,607 deaths were reported Friday, and as of Saturday, the overall death toll in the U.S. had reached more than 279,000 since the start of the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The U.S. set several records in coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths this week as experts warn of a continued surge following Thanksgiving gatherings and related travel.
The White House coronavirus task forced warned states that a further rise in cases after the holiday threatens to overwhelm the health care system and compromise patient care.
“We are in a very dangerous place due to the current, extremely high COVID baseline and limited hospital capacity; a further post-Thanksgiving surge will compromise COVID patient care, as well as medical care overall,” the task force warned.
Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urged Americans not to travel for Christmas amid fears that gatherings could further spread the virus. The CDC issued similar guidance shortly before Thanksgiving, though travel rates the day before the holiday reached their highest levels since March.
The recent surge in cases has prompted several states to impose new restrictions, including a new system in California unveiled by Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) this week under which regions would fall under three-week stay-at-home orders if they have less than 15 percent ICU capacity.
“The reality is December and January and February are going to be rough times. I actually believe they’re going to be the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation,” largely because of the stress to the health system, CDC Director Robert Redfield testified on Capitol Hill this week.