In the United States, the coronavirus pandemic continues to break its own records.
Over 107,800 new cases were confirmed on Wednesday alone, The New York Times reports, making it the single worst day — coming after the single worst week — for new infections so far.
In addition to the national records, five U.S. states also experienced their highest number of new confirmed cases so far on Wednesday, Popular Science reports. That includes Colorado, Indiana, Maine, Minnesota, and also Nebraska, the latter of which doesn’t have a state-wide order to enforce the use of face masks.
“When I see people without a mask, that’s what breaks my heart,” Jenifer Phelps, a nurse manager for a coronavirus unit in Wichita, Kansas, told the Associated Press last week. “So when I see that, the first thing in my mind is, ‘Well, we’re going to be — the unit’s probably going to be full next week.’
It’s worth noting that even as we see record-breaking days and weeks in this third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the numbers are only getting worse. And as we approach Thanksgiving and the holiday season, new infections and deaths could continue to spike upward if large numbers of Americans choose to travel.
“All the stars are aligned in the wrong place as you go into the fall and winter season, with people congregating at home indoors,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s top coronavirus expert, told The Washington Post. “You could not possibly be positioned more poorly.”
“We’re in for a whole lot of hurt,” he said. “It’s not a good situation.”
Unfortunately, that bad situation won’t end any time soon, Emory University infectious disease researcher Carlos del Rio told the NYT.
“Even if Biden wins,” he said, “we still have several months of the Trump administration in which the epidemic is at its worst.”