More than 3,600 coronavirus-related deaths were reported in the United States on Wednesday, topping all previous days during the pandemic, which has killed more than 300,000 Americans since March, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
Wednesday also saw a record 247,000 new cases of the COVID-19, a sign that the spread of the virus shows no signs of slowing.
Wednesday’s figures mark the third time that US deaths topped 3,000 in a single day with two previous instances coming last week. Generally, mid-week death figures have marked the highest numbers due to how states report deaths.
All told, a seven-day average of coronavirus deaths indicates that there are nearly 2,500-related coronavirus-related deaths per day. While much has been made of death figures, a death is only counted if COVID-19 was a factor in the person’s death. If someone dies from an unrelated ailment, but is coronavirus positive at the time of death, their death is not counted in official tallies, per CDC guidelines.
Deaths related to the coronavirus have risen sharply in recent weeks.
Here is a weekly breakdown of coronavirus related deaths in the last eight weeks, according to stats compiled by the COVID Tracking Project:
December 10-16: 17,381 (Avg: 2,483)
December 3-9: 16,187 (Avg: 2,312)
November 26-December 2: 11,198 (Avg: 1,600)
November 19-25: 11,624 (Avg: 1,660)
November 12-18: 7,528 (Avg: 1,075)
November 5-11: 7,490 (Avg: 1,070)
October 29-November 4: 6,495 (Avg: 927)
October 22-28: 5,724 (Avg: 818)
The despair of the virus has hit in the central US, especially the Dakotas. According to the CDC, South Dakota has the highest death per capita rate in the US with 2.4 coronavirus-related deaths per 100,000 people in the last week. Since the start of the pandemic, 1,261 deaths have been reported in South Dakota.
There has also been a marked rise in coronavirus-related hospitalizations. According to the COVID Tracking Project, there are more than 113,000 Americans in the hospital with the virus. That figure has doubled in the last five weeks, and more than tripled from late September and early October, when hospitalizations had recovered from a summer surge throughout the south.