Enlarge /. Vehicles will drive to a COVID-19 test site in Los Angeles, California on July 21, 2020. California reported a total of 400,769 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic started on July 21, moving closer to New York, the state with the most cases.
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The US exceeded 4 million cases of COVID-19 on Thursday as the pandemic shows no signs of easing. Almost 144,000 people in the country have died of the disease.
According to the COVID Tracking Project, more than 70,000 new cases were counted yesterday, with an average of almost 67,000 new cases per day within seven days.
With continued increases, hospitalizations during the pandemic are approaching a new record. There are currently 59,628 people in hospital across the country. This is slightly below the previous high of 59,940 on April 15. Deaths are also on the rise, with an average of 834 deaths per day over seven days. There have been over 1,000 deaths in the past two days. The greatest spread of the disease is found in southern states and hotspots in western states like California.
Experts predict that the mortality rate will continue to rise in the coming weeks to months, as the sick are still flowing to hospitals. This is how long it takes some of the patients entering the hospital to succumb to their illness.
In a nutshell
The crisis is exacerbated by reports that the COVID 19 test laboratories are overwhelmed. The processing time for returning the test results to the patients has slowed down – in some places it takes weeks. This has caused the uninfected to wait unnecessarily in extended quarantines. For those who are infected, the lengthy test results make it impossible to track contacts and quarantine people who are exposed before they can pass the virus on themselves.
Laboratories have access to high-throughput machines that can run thousands of tests every day. In fact, the U.S. is conducting more tests than ever before during the pandemic, reporting 800,000 tests on Wednesday. In mid-April, almost 150,000 tests were carried out per day in the country.
Still, labs could do more tests than they do now. As the AP reports, laboratories and hospitals in which tests are being conducted are being suppressed by the worldwide shortage of test reagents and accessories, in addition to increasing demand. For example, Bobbi Pritt of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, the point of sale, said that the hospital's machines are under 20 percent busy due to bottlenecks.
Quest Diagnostics, one of the largest test chains in the country, told the AP that in some cases it simply cannot keep up with demand during the current surge. The company said patients should wait a week or more to get results. It was also recommended that doctors review patients with low priority, e.g. B. without symptoms or known contact with an infected person.