Currently, the number of hospitalizations according to COVID-19 has exceeded 100,000 in the USA. The number of hospital stays exceeded the previous record of 60,000 at the beginning of November and has been rising continuously since then.
Speaking to Washington Newsday, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that “January will be terrible” as the outbreak is expected to reach its worst level ever.
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and a member of the White House COVID 19 Task Force, Fauci said, “I think January will be horrible because the rise at Thanksgiving will overshadow the rise at Christmas. So it is quite conceivable that January could be the worst”.
“At least two to 2.5 weeks, maybe even three, between two and three weeks after the start of the trip [to Thanksgiving]you will see the peaks,” Fauci noted.
Asked if he expected the numbers to be bad after Thanksgiving for cases, deaths and hospitalizations, Fauci told Washington Newsday: “Unfortunately, yes. I hate to say this, but it is the truth and it is the reality. I see that this is happening.”
This is what Fauci told Washington Newsday: “The reporting is not correct for the next days after a holiday. So what you see is an artificial intrusion in everything – in cases, in deaths.
“Usually about two weeks later you start to see the increase in cases, followed by an increase in hospital admissions, followed by an increase in deaths.
“If you and I travel and then go home and have family meals, you will see infections two to three weeks later, and one week later you will see more hospitalizations and two weeks later you will see more deaths,” Fauci noted.
The recent increase in cases and deaths after Thanksgiving “is probably due to people doing things indoors two weeks earlier, even before Thanksgiving or in connection with the Thanksgiving trip,” Fauci explained.
Fauci’s warning comes as the total number of confirmed cases in the United States approaches 14.2 million, with at least 276,401 reported deaths in total, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Projections for US cases, deaths, hospitalizations
By Thursday, 100,667 COVID-19 patients had been hospitalized, according to data from The Atlantic’s COVID Tracking Project.
According to the forecasts received by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from 12 modeling groups, “the forecasts for December 28 are for 2,300 to 23,000 new COVID-19 hospital admissions per day.
“Four national forecasts predict a likely increase in the number of new hospital admissions per day over the next four weeks, one forecast predicts a likely decrease, and four forecasts are uncertain about the trend or predict stable numbers.
“Forecasts at the state level also show a high degree of variability, due to several factors. Forecasts for hospitalizations use different data sources for COVID-19 cases or deaths with different limitations and make different assumptions about social distance,” the CDC report released on Wednesday said.
The graph below, provided by Statista, shows the distribution of COVID-19 deaths among the U.S. population.
According to forecasts received by the CDC this week from 25 modeling groups, it is likely that 690,000 to 1,700,00 new cases will be reported in the week ending December 26.
The CDC noted: “In recent weeks, more cases than expected have been reported outside the predicted intervals. This indicates that the current prediction intervals may not reflect the full range of future reported case numbers. Predictions for new cases should be interpreted accordingly.
“Ensemble forecasts at the state and territory level predict that the number of newly reported deaths per week in 23 jurisdictions is likely to increase over the next four weeks,” the CDC added, noting that “trends in future reported deaths in the other states and territories are uncertain or expected to remain stable.
The broader picture
The novel coronavirus has infected more than 65.3 million people since it was first reported in Wuhan, China.
More than 1.5 million people have died worldwide and more than 42 million have recovered by Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The chart below, produced by Statista, shows the number of current COVID-19 hospitalizations in the United States.
The chart below, created by Statista, shows the distribution of COVID-19 cases in the U.S.