National numbers, Jan. 3

In the past week (December 27 through January 2), the U.S. reported about 1.4 million new cases, according to the COVID Tracking Project. This amounts to:

  • An average of 201,000 new cases each day
  • 430 total new cases for every 100,000 Americans
  • 1 in 232 Americans getting diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past week
Nationwide COVID-19 metrics published in the COVID Tracking Project’s daily update on January 2. Daily cases hit a new record thanks to reporting backlogs from New Years.

These numbers must be interpreted with caution: COVID-19 reporting has been significantly impacted by Christmas and New Years. 20 states didn’t update their COVID-19 data on December 25, and 24 didn’t update their data on January 1—followed by a record day with 276,000 cases reported on January 2. As I’ve noted in previous issues, reporting gaps over holidays lead to spikes several days later, as states catch up on the cases, deaths, and tests that took place over their break.

But hospitals didn’t close for the holidays. Over 125,000 Americans were hospitalized with COVID-19 this week—the nation continues to break its own record for this morbid metric. For more context and regional analysis on hospitalizations, see the COVID Tracking Project’s most recent weekly update.

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