More than 90,000 COVID-19 patients are in hospitals in the United States where infections continue to occur.
The number of COVID-19 patients being treated in hospitals across the United States hit 90,000 on Friday, Reuters news agency reported, as people attended the Thanksgiving holiday this week.
The rate of hospital stays is now the highest since the pandemic began, said the news agency, which has pushed some medical facilities beyond their capacity and has been alerted by public health experts and state officials.
The rural New Mexico areas, which have put in lockdown to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, are among the hardest hit areas in the country. 880 people were hospitalized across the U.S. state on Friday.
According to the county’s Facebook page, a Curry County hospital bordering the sparsely populated Texas Panhandle was the last to reach its ICU capacity earlier this week.
“This is the reality we will face if COVID-19 is allowed to spread freely,” tweeted New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday, referring to the situation in Curry County and calling on people to open up Staying home to prevent the virus from spreading.
“There are not enough healthcare workers available in intensive care units,” she wrote.
This is the reality we face if COVID-19 is allowed to spread uncontrollably – intensive care units at full capacity, not enough healthcare workers available.
Protect yourself and your fellow New Mexicans by protecting our hospitals and health workers – stay home.https: //t.co/pbt5NJcskU
– Michelle Lujan Grisham (@GovMLG) November 27, 2020
COVID-19 infection rates have been rising in the US for weeks, and public health officials have warned that the situation could get worse as people who mingle with friends and relatives during Thanksgiving gradually develop symptoms.
To date, the country has reported more than 13.04 million cases of COVID-19 and more than 264,000 deaths related to the virus, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
Many health professionals and politicians have asked Americans not to gather for Thanksgiving this year, as the socializing of households between households could accelerate the rate of transmission in the community and marginalize an already strained health care system.
Some adhered to public health guidelines, but the day before the holiday, usually one of the busiest travel days of the year in the US, more than 1.07 million people passed US airports, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said.
That was most of one day since the pandemic started.
Nearly six million Americans traveled by air Friday through Wednesday, the TSA also said – less than half of what was reported in the same period last year.
Black Friday shopping
The state governors have also urged people to stay home on Black Friday, a traditionally busy shopping day.
“Remember, skip the crowd and do your home shopping this Black Friday. Our local stores have roadside pick-ups and need our assistance, “Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear wrote in a tweet Friday.
Remember, skip the crowds and shop from home this Black Friday. Our local stores have roadside pick-ups and need our assistance. Shop locally and shop safely. #HealthyatHome. https://t.co/fklE3qOuak
– Governor Andy Beshear (@GovAndyBeshear) November 27, 2020
To mitigate a COVID-19 wave during the U.S. winter, more than 20 states have introduced new restrictions, including mask mandates and limiting the capacity of bars, restaurants, and places of worship.
In New York state, the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled against Governor Andrew Cuomo’s restrictions on religious gatherings and voted for a restraining order from a Roman Catholic diocese and Orthodox Jewish communities to block the capacity restrictions.
It remains unclear whether curbs would be challenged in other states following the Supreme Court ruling.