More than 125,300 Covid-19 patients remained hospitalised in the US as the country ushered in 2021.
The high count is a grim reminder that even with 2020 behind, the pandemic continues to ravage parts of the country, reports the CNN.
Some local leaders warned that the worst is still ahead.
"We are still going to have our toughest and darkest days," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said.
Los Angeles County, as well as the state of California, have battled brutal surges of infections, hospitalisations and deaths in the past weeks, all driven in part by Thanksgiving gatherings, health officials said.
Surging hospitalisations in the county are pushing hospitals to the "brink of catastrophe," said Dr Christina Ghaly, Los Angeles County Health Services director.
In Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp said a convention center will begin accepting patients at the end of this week and will have an additional 60 beds to "help ensure that our hospitals continue to have the capacity they need for Covid and non-Covid patients."
Arizona health officials say the number of new cases remains high, with hospitalization and death tallies also increasing.
"Even without Covid-19, winter is an especially busy season for hospitals. Amid this pandemic and the surge in cases, more than 90% of intensive care unit beds are in use this week, with more than half of those beds occupied by Covid-19 patients," Dr Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, said in a video message posted to Twitter.
And experts have warned the grim numbers could climb further nationwide in the coming weeks - a swells stemming from the gatherings and travels that took place over the holidays.
Despite repeated calls from both local and state leaders for people to celebrate with only members of their household, millions of Americans opted to spend time away from home.
On Wednesday, the Transportation Security Administration reported its fourth-busiest day of the pandemic, screening more than a million people for the fifth straight day.