U.S. coronavirus hospital stays hit a three-month excessive of over 50,000: Reuters Tally By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A woman says goodbye to her mother in a COVID-19 intensive care unit in Houston

By Roshan Abraham and Kavya B.

(Reuters) – The number of coronavirus patients in U.S. hospitals exceeded 50,000 on Tuesday, the highest level in nearly three months as a surge in infections threatens to push the country’s healthcare system to the limit.

According to a Reuters tally, Texas reported the highest number of currently hospitalized patients with 5,936, followed by Illinois with 3,594 and California with 3,270 patients. While California has three times as many people as Illinois, the number of new cases per capita in the Midwest was the highest.

Nationwide, the number of COVID-19 patients in hospital has increased by 64% since October 1 to 50,176 on Tuesday, the highest level since August 7. According to a Reuters tally, the number is still below the record of 58,370 hospital admissions on July 22nd.

Hospital stays are an important metric because, unlike case numbers, they are not influenced by the number of tests performed.

When millions of Americans voted in Tuesday’s presidential election, the number of cases in the country topped 9.4 million and rose 1 million in just two weeks.

On Friday, the US set a world record by reporting over 100,000 new infections in a single day.

The Texas-led southern states have the most coronavirus hospitalizations, with nearly 20,000 patients, or 40% of the national total, followed by the Midwest, West, and Northeast.

Hospitals in Wisconsin and Texas have rushed to find more beds for coronavirus patients as the state’s medical facilities struggle to keep up with the surge in new infections. The Texas city of El Paso has converted a convention center into a field hospital to treat the spill.

Health experts believe the virus is soaring due to private social gatherings, colder temperatures pushing people inside, and American fatigue from COVID-19 restrictions that have been in place for more than six months.

Over 278 coronavirus cases were reported and about seven people died for every 10,000 people in the United States, according to a Reuters analysis. There were over 127 cases and nearly four deaths per 10,000 people in Europe.

The White House Coronavirus Task Force warned of the continued and widespread spread of COVID-19 in the western half of the United States and its members called for aggressive mitigation measures.

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