The U.S. has now seen two straight weeks in which at least 100,000 people are confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 each day.
On Monday, the U.S. reported 166,000 new cases of the virus, marking the 14th consecutive day with 100,000 or more new cases of the virus, according to a database kept by Johns Hopkins University.
The last day new cases totaled less than 100,000 was on Nov. 2. Since then, about 1.9 million Americans have contracted the virus, the rolling 7-day average of hospitalizations across the country has increased from 50,000 to 65,000 and daily deaths on a rolling 7-day average have ticked up from 824 a day to 1,114 a day.
That 14-day time span has also seen seven days in which record numbers of new cases were reported. The current record was set on Friday when 177,000 people in the U.S. were confirmed to have contracted COVID-19.
The current spike in caseloads has led hospitals across the country to become inundated with patients, overwhelming resources. The COVID Tracking Project reports that most of those hospitalizations are occurring in the Midwest, where rural hospitals in places like Iowa and South Dakota are running short on bed space.
The current standard was predicted in June by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's highest-ranking infectious disease expert. During a Senate hearing, Fauci stunned lawmakers by predicting that the U.S. could reach a point where 100,000 people were being infected each day if "disturbing trends" continued.
Fauci's comments in June came during a summer spike in cases which saw infection rates top out at about 77,000 new cases each day.
The current spike in cases comes as drugmakers like Pfizer and Moderna have reported encouraging results in vaccine trial results. While both vaccine candidates are on track for Emergency Use Authorization by the end of 2020, the drug likely won't be widely available to the general public for several months — Fauci has predicted that a vaccine will be widely available in the U.S. by April.