December Is Set to Be Covid’s Deadliest Month in the U.S. by Far

December is shaping up to be the U.S.’s worst month of the pandemic by a significant margin, underscoring the urgency of the vaccine rollout to the most vulnerable Americans.

Through Thursday, the U.S. had already posted 42,535 Covid-19 deaths, the most for any month except for April, according to Covid Tracking Project data and analysis.

But deaths are rising at a daily average of 2,560; if sustained, that would put the nation at more than 78,000 fatalities by the end of December, 42% higher than April. What’s more, record hospitalizations and average cases suggest that deaths -- a significantly lagging indicator -- could accelerate even further.

December Is Set to Be Covid’s Deadliest Month in the U.S. by Far

Still, authorities hope the vaccine push at long-term care centers will soon start to blunt the virus’s impact.

Nationally, the U.S. recorded 241,620 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, pushing the seven-day average to a record 214,741. In total, the virus has killed about 311,000 people in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University data.

According to Covid Tracking Project data:

  • An all-time high of 114,237 people are currently hospitalized in the U.S. with Covid-19.
  • The following states posted single-day record cases on Thursday: West Virginia, Arkansas and Maine.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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