The United States recorded more than 100,000 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday November 4. That's the most new cases the country has seen in a single day since the pandemic began, and signals a new grim phase of the coronavirus crisis.
There were 102,831 new cases in the U.S. on Wednesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University of Medicine. Because this number only accounts for officially recorded cases, the actual number of coronavirus cases out there is likely even higher. That's up from the previous record of 99,321 cases on October 30, which is considerably higher than the peak of the previous wave: 77,378 cases on July 16.
Back in June, Anthony Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned that we could see 100,000 new COVID-19 cases in one day if we didn't take preventive measures seriously, the New York Times reported at the time. Back then it may have seemed like an extreme prediction, but here we are—and the data suggest that we'll only see that number increase.
Having a baseline rate of new daily cases this high is not an encouraging sign, especially now that we're getting into the colder winter months when we know cases are likely to get even higher. “You don’t want to be in that compromised position where your baseline daily infection [rate] is high and you are increasing as opposed to going in the other direction,” Dr. Fauci said in a recent interview. An increase in the rate of new cases per day also likely means an increase in the number of hospitalizations and, ultimately, deaths due to COVID-19 that we'll see in the next few months.
So, as Dr. Fauci said, it's imperative that we "double down" on our COVID-19 prevention measures sooner rather than later. Those tactics include social distancing, wearing a mask, and frequent hand washing. And as we approach the winter holiday season, you may have to adjust your usual holiday traditions in order to keep yourself, your family, and your community as safe as possible. For instance, this is not the year to have a bunch of out-of-town family come out for a big Thanksgiving dinner indoors without masks. It's much safer to have a traditional dinner with the people you already live with.
Hitting 100,000 COVID-19 cases in one day is a reminder that this pandemic is definitely not over—and is instead gearing up for a devastating winter. But there are things we can still do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including wearing a mask in public, social distancing, and avoiding crowds.
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