Spotlight: U.S. sets new record for COVID-19 hospitalizations for 15th consecutive day

WASHINGTON, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- More than 88,000 COVID-19 patients were in hospitals across the United States as of Tuesday, reaching a new all-time high for the 15th consecutive day, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

The alarming metric came as medical staff around the country were under extreme pressure to prepare beds for and take care of the surging number of hospital patients.

COVID-19 cases and deaths are soaring nationwide. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 165,282 daily case count on Tuesday, pushing the 7-day average daily increase to a record-high of 171,157 cases.

It marked the 17th consecutive day that daily case increase in the United States surpassed 100,000.

The CDC reported 1,989 new deaths on Tuesday, pushing the 7-day average daily increase to 1,595, the highest since mid-May.

It took only six days for the country to add over 1 million infections to a record high of 12 million cases last Saturday.

Public health officials have generally urged Americans to celebrate Thanksgiving only with members of the same household, or at least gather outdoors, to avoid further virus spread.

The CDC issued a new guidance last Friday urging Americans to stay home and not travel for Thanksgiving.

"Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year," said the guidance.

The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to celebrate at home with the people you live with, said the guideline.

Anthony Fauci, director of U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Wednesday he is worried about how much the virus will spread in holiday celebrations, and what the pandemic will look like in three weeks when those new infections will have manifested.

"What we don't want to see is yet another surge superposed upon the current surge ... which we'll realize three to three and a half weeks from now," Fauci said.

The United States has recorded more than 12,662,000 cases with more than 260,800 related deaths as of Wednesday afternoon, according to the real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

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