- Total coronavirus cases in the U.S. just topped China.
- The U.S. death toll also crossed a grim milestone.
- An epidemiologist projects peak COVID-19 deaths in three weeks.
While most of the United States shelters in lockdown, the U.S. officially became the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic Thursday. Total U.S. coronavirus cases just crossed higher than those in China, making America the world’s most infected nation (at least, according to the official numbers).
According to World Odometer, which tabulates new cases and COVID-19 deaths daily from sources around the world, the U.S. now has 81,943 active coronavirus cases. That puts it ahead of China, where the growth in new cases has been slowing for days, and currently has 81,285.
COVID-19 Deaths Hit 1,000 in U.S.
The coronavirus case total is one of two grim COVID-19 milestones for the U.S. Thursday. Total U.S. COVID-19 deaths surpassed 1,000 Thursday morning, according to NBC News.
A top epidemiologist working for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. will peak in three weeks. Total COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. nearly doubled in two days from 555 on Mar. 23, to 1,027 on Mar. 25.
It’s unlikely that the death rate will continue to rise so steeply. But in the U.S. there’s no federal lockdown, while only one in three Americans are subject to a state lockdown order. So it’s important for the public not to panic, but to continue to take the precautions recommended by health authorities.
Coronavirus Stresses Hospital Capacity
As coronavirus reaches the steep part of its viral infection curve in the U.S., hospitals are reaching capacity in COVID-19 hot spots.
Some areas of the United States may not have enough ICU beds to handle COVID-19. They could experience “a catastrophic failure of health care in that facility.”
About half of U.S. coronavirus cases are in New York State, which has nearly ten times the number of cases as any other state. That makes New York the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic within the U.S.
Hospitals in New York City are battling the harrowing surge of cases. And tragically, New York City morgues are expected to reach capacity by next week.
Meanwhile San Francisco’s Mayor said the city needs 5,000 more hospital beds, and 1,500 more ventilators. In Silicon Valley COVID-19 deaths have been projected to reach as high as 16,000.
This article was edited by Sam Bourgi.