After a turbulent week that saw the U.S. presidential election overshadow the coronavirus pandemic for a couple of days, the grim reality is setting in once again. Less than ten days after surpassing 100,000 daily new cases for the first time on election day, the daily number of new infections soared past 150,000 for the first time on Thursday.
Having surpassed 10 million cases this week, the latest increase in new infections was driven by record tallies in more than a dozen states. California became the second state after Texas to surpass one million cases, with Florida all but certain to hit that grim milestone in the near future.
As the following chart shows, the U.S. is heading into the fall facing a third wave of COVID-19 infections that is already steeper than the spring and summer waves of the pandemic. With hospitalizations also at a record level, experts are warning that the situation could quickly spiral out of control in the absence of stricter measures.