Amid the resurgence, states have begun reopening field hospitals to handle the influx of patients, pushing health care systems and their workers to the limit.
Hospitals are incorporating mobile morgues and funerals are being broadcast live or held as self-service events.
“I have no doubt that we are going to see a growing death toll … and that is a horrible and tragic place to be,” said Josh Michaud, associate director for global health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation.
“It will be a very dark couple of weeks.”
November’s death toll was much lower than the 60,699 recorded in April, but dangerously close to the next-highest total of nearly 42,000 in May, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Deaths dropped to just over 20,000 in June after states closed many businesses and ordered people to stay home.
At Mercy Hospital Springfield in Missouri, a mobile morgue that was acquired in 2011 after a tornado struck nearby Joplin and killed about 160 people has been reused.
On Sunday, he held two bodies until funeral home workers could arrive.
At the Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri, burials increased by about a third this year compared to last year, and the cremated remains of about 20 people are in storage while their families wait for a safer time to celebrate services. commemorative. .
“You want to be safe at the grave so you don’t have to do another graveside service” for another family member, said Richard Lay, vice president of the Bellefontaine Cemetery.
Rhode Island opened two field hospitals with more than 900 beds combined.
The state’s regular hospitals reached their coronavirus capacity on Monday.
New York City, the epicenter of the outbreak in the United States earlier this year, reopened a field hospital last week on Staten Island.
Wisconsin has a field hospital in West Allis ready to receive overwhelmed patients.
A Nevada hospital has added hospital bed capacity in an adjacent parking lot.
“Hospitals across the country are concerned day by day about their capacity … and we are not even into the winter season and we have not seen the impact of Thanksgiving travel and gatherings,” said Dr. Amesh . Adlaja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said.
The number of hospital beds is only a concern.
Many hospitals are struggling to find enough staff to care for patients, as the virus emerges almost everywhere at once, Dr. Adlaja said.
“You can’t just say that doctors and nurses will come from other states because those other states are also dealing with COVID patients,” he said.
Registry of deaths and infections
The virus is blamed for more than 268,000 deaths and more than 13.5 million confirmed infections in the United States.
A record 96,000 people were in hospital with the virus in the US as of Monday.
The United States is seeing on average more than 160,000 new cases per day and nearly 1,470 deaths, equal to what the country was witnessing in mid-May.
State and local officials are also responding with lockdowns, curfews, quarantines and mask mandates.
California officials said the state could triple hospitalizations by Christmas and is considering stay-at-home requests for areas with the highest case rates.
Los Angeles County has already told its 10 million residents to stay home.
In Oklahoma, Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt declared a day of prayer and fasting last Thursday as confirmed coronavirus infections in the state approached 200,000.
The state health authorities reported yesterday a maximum of one day of more than 1,700 hospitalizations.
Governor Stitt, who tested positive for the virus in July, donated plasma to help other patients recover and said he will do so again.