The United States reported an all-time high of nearly 200,000 new Covid-19 cases Thursday, setting a new record for the fifth time in a week, showed data updated Friday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The latest daily case count of 194,610 refreshed the previous nationwide record of 143,408 set on the previous day, pushing the seven-day average daily increase to a record high of 132,442 cases, according to the CDC.
A total of 1,147 deaths from the coronavirus were recorded nationwide on Thursday, bringing the seven-day average deaths to 1,136, the highest since early August.
It marked the fifth consecutive day that the daily case count in the United States had set a new record.
The country has witnessed the most critical week as major Covid-19 metrics including the daily case increase, seven-day average daily increase and hospitalizations reached new highs this week.
A new forecast released by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington on Thursday projected 439,000 cumulative Covid-19 deaths across the United States by March 1, and a peak of daily deaths in mid-January at 2,200 a day.
"Although mask use has increased to 67 percent, further increases to 95 percent could save a further 68,000 lives by March 1," the IHME said in the report.
"Daily cases are increasing at an accelerating rate with deaths increasing, but at a slower rate. Given the experience in Europe, we expect that the increase in deaths will soon begin to match the increase in cases," said the report.
The fall/winter surge is evident in nearly all US states at this point, according to the IHME.
US President Donald Trump said on Friday that a coronavirus vaccine could be available to the general population as early as April.
The United States has recorded more than 10,727,000 cases with more than 244,300 related deaths as of Friday night, according to the real-time count maintained by Johns Hopkins University.