Dec 18, 2020 - Health

Nearly 1 in 200 Americans was diagnosed with COVID in the last week

Data: Covid Tracking Project; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

In the last week alone, nearly 1 out of every 200 Americans was diagnosed with the coronavirus — an astronomically large portion of the population to be sick at the same time.

Why it matters: This will translate into large numbers of hospitalizations — and eventually deaths — in the coming weeks. It also means the rest of us have a decent chance of interacting with someone who is infected, anywhere we go.

By the numbers: Nationally, 0.9% of Americans have been diagnosed with the virus over the last 14 days, or nearly 1 out of every 100 people. That's probably an undercount of the real number of infections across the country, as not everyone who is infected gets tested.

  • In Tennessee, nearly 1 of every 100 state residents have been diagnosed within the last week, making it the state with the highest number of new cases by population in the country.
  • In California, the most populous state in the U.S., roughly 1 of every 150 residents were diagnosed this week, contributing tens of thousands of cases to the national total every day.

What's happening: California's health care system is already buckling, AP reports.

  • Hospitals across the state "have all but run out of intensive care beds for COVID-19 patients, ambulances are backing up outside emergency rooms, and tents for triaging the sick are going up," per AP.
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