During the same period, an additional 24,260 deaths were reported.
The United States has grappled with an increase in cases, deaths and hospitalizations since the holiday season. And with a total of more than 22.1 million people infected and 372,428 people killed by coronavirus in the United States already, experts warn that the coming weeks could bring even more devastation.
“So I think this is an event that will probably lead to a major broadcast,” he added.
The spread was piling up on an already dire situation.
Thursday was the first day the United States reported more than 4,000 coronavirus deaths. The spread has pushed some hospital facilities and medical staff to their limits. Some 130,777 Covid-19 patients were in U.S. hospitals on Saturday – the fifth highest figure on record, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.
‘Our most dangerous time’
Many states are feeling the strain of the national push.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said his state was seeing a “real and significant increase in cases and in our positivity rate of people gathering around the holidays.”
“This surge that we are in right now is at least twice as fast, the gravity, of the previous surges that we have seen,” the governor said on Friday. “This is our most dangerous moment. ”
Hospitalizations are increasing in Texas, where a record number of coronavirus hospital patients was reported Saturday for the seventh day in a row. There are now 13,935 hospital patients in the state, the Texas State Department’s Health Services Dashboard says.
On the same day, Arizona added 98 new coronavirus deaths, bringing its total to more than 10,000, according to an update from the state’s health department.
At the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States is California. Saturday brought 52,000 new cases to the state, which is the fifth time the daily number of cases has exceeded 50,000 since Dec. 15, according to the state’s health department.
California also reported a record high ICU coronavirus patients at 4,939 and single-day deaths with 695 deaths reported statewide.
In Los Angeles County, it took just four days to report more than 1,000 new cases, according to the county’s health department.
“The speed with which we are reaching grim milestones in deaths and cases of COVID-19 is a devastating reflection of the immense spread that is occurring in the county,” said Barbara Ferrer, Los County Public Health Director. Angeles, in the press release. “The best way to protect ourselves, to slow the spread and stop overwhelming our hospitals, is to suspend participation in activities that are not absolutely essential.
“Now is just not the time to go to the mall or a friend’s house to watch a game of basketball or football. ”
Biden’s team announces plan to accelerate vaccine deployment
At this point, the country’s only choice is to “vaccinate our way,” said Dr Peter Hotez, dean of tropical medicine at Baylor College.
“We are in a race against death right now,” he told CNN’s Ana Cabrera on Saturday. “And that’s why we need to speed up our vaccination program. ”
President-elect Joe Biden will aim to release nearly all available doses of Covid-19 vaccines in a bid to quickly accelerate the deployment of the vaccine in the United States.
But it could also be risky, as the two vaccines from Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna require two doses given weeks apart to be around 95% effective, and vaccine manufacturing has not grown as quickly as many. experts had hoped so.
The plan is a departure from the Trump administration’s strategy of withholding vaccine doses to ensure second doses are available.
Dr Celine Gounder, a member of Biden’s coronavirus advisory board, told CNN on Saturday that the new plan aims to “get the doses out as quickly as possible” and simplify the distribution.
Officials do not recommend that patients delay receiving their second dose, she said. People should always plan to receive the second dose of Pfizer vaccine 21 days after the first dose and Moderna vaccine 28 days after the first dose.
“As long as there are no manufacturing issues, we are confident that the vaccine supply will be there when people return for their second dose,” Gounder said.
When asked about the plan, Hotez said it was “all for increasing the number of Americans who get vaccinated.” But he stressed that people need to understand the importance of receiving the second dose.
“I’m just afraid people are getting the wrong message, saying, ‘Hey, it’s okay to walk around with just one dose,'” he said, “because it’s not. “.
Biden’s team is also wondering if the vaccine guidelines prioritizing certain groups – such as healthcare workers and residents of long-term facilities – should be changed, Gounder said.
“It remains to be seen whether we will expand more quickly to other groups,” she said, adding that some states have already deviated from the recommendations.
“I’m thinking about the big picture, the goal here is to get as many people vaccinated as quickly and as safely as possible,” she said.
CNN’s Christina Maxouris, Chuck Johnston, Hollie Silverman, Kay Jones, Cheri Mossburg, Lauren Mascarenhas, Jason Hanna and Dakin Andone contributed to this report.