National numbers, Nov. 15

In the past week (November 8 through 14), the U.S. reported about 990,000 cases, according to the COVID Tracking Project. This amounts to:

  • An average of 141,000 new cases each day (38% increase from the previous week)
  • 302 total new cases per 100,000 people
  • 1 in 331 Americans getting diagnosed with COVID-19
  • 3.4 times the total cases Canada has reported over the entire course of the pandemic
Nationwide COVID-19 metrics published in the COVID Tracking Project’s daily update on November 14. Hospitalizations are up 24% from the previous Saturday.

Cases continue to rise across the country; 38 states reported over 1,000 cases yesterday. The COVID Exit Strategy tracker now categorizes every state except for three as “uncontrolled spread,” and even Maine and Vermont are now “trending poorly.”

America also saw:

  • 7,700 new COVID-19 deaths last week (2.4 per 100,000 people)
  • 69,000 people currently hospitalized with the disease, as of yesterday (24% increase from the previous week)

So many people have been infected and become seriously ill in recent weeks that hospital systems are overwhelmed. Two new articles published this past Friday, by ProPublica’s Caroline Chen and The Atlantic’s Ed Yong, center the experiences of America’s stressed, scared, and exhausted healthcare workers. Both pieces give faces and voices to these immense numbers. If you read nothing else this weekend—even if you don’t read the rest of this newsletter—please read those two stories.

I offered my own take on the current outbreak in a Twitter thread last Wednesday. This is the message I want to highlight:

We already know what we need to do to get this nationwide outbreak under control. We did it in March. Stay home. Limit your activity and travel to the essentials. Shrink your circle of contacts. Take care of your neighbors. And, whenever you’re outside the house—wear a mask.

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