November 11, 2020 -- The U.S. could soon report more than 200,000 coronavirus cases per day as infections continue to surge across the country, an infectious disease expert told CNN.
The U.S. reported 100,000 new cases 7 days in a row last week, and that total will likely continue to increase.
“We are watching cases increase substantially in this country far beyond, I think, what most people ever thought could happen,” Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told CNN.
Osterholm and his team have created accurate forecasts for COVID-19 cases throughout the pandemic. He was named to President-elect Joe Biden’s Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board on Monday.
“It will not surprise me if, in the next weeks, we see over 200,000 new cases a day,” he said.
On Monday, the national 7-day average of new cases was nearly 120,000, which is triple the average from mid-September.
The number of hospitalizations in the U.S. are up as well, according to the COVID Tracking Project. On Monday, 59,275 people were in hospitals for COVID-19, marking the country’s highest total since July and slightly lower than the April 15 peak of 59,940.
Deaths are on the rise, too. Last week, more than 1,000 COVID-19 deaths were reported for 5 days in a row, which hasn’t happened since August.
“We’re going to see, by far, the darkest days of this pandemic between now and next spring when the vaccine becomes available,” Osterholm told CBS This Morning on Tuesday.
“We have a perfect storm coming together,” he said. “We have pandemic fatigue … we have pandemic anger … we just are not taking this virus seriously.”