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A medical staff member in the COVID-19 intensive care unit of United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas — the first U.S. state to surpass 1 million coronavirus cases. Photo: Go Nakamura/Getty Images

The U.S. is expected to surpass the summer peak of deaths from COVID-19 and near early spring levels this coming week, per the COVID Tracking Project.

The big picture: 1,321 people died from the virus on Saturday, as the seven-day average reached 1,100. COVID-19 hospitalizations have hit record highs, with 69,455 people now in the hospital with the virus in the U.S., according to the project.

  • The country has seen the world record for the number of new infections in a single day broken several times in November — including Friday, when 177,224 people tested positive, Johns Hopkins University data shows.
  • 245,600 people have died from the virus and over 10.4 million tested positive in the U.S. as of Sunday morning, per JHU.

What they're saying: "Tests are rising, but cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are rising much faster," the COVID Tracking Project said in a Twitter post.

Of note: Since May 25, only Aug. 4 had a higher seven-day average of COVID-19 deaths, the project noted.

Go deeper: U.S. surgeon general says "pandemic fatigue" behind soaring cases

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
Dec 2, 2020 - Health

Nursing homes are still getting pummeled by the pandemic

Data: AHCA/NCAL, The COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The U.S. has gotten no better at keeping the coronavirus out of nursing homes.

Why it matters: The number of nursing home cases has consistently tracked closely with the number of cases in the broader community — and that's very bad news as overall cases continue to skyrocket.

What COVID-19 vaccine trials still need to do

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

COVID-19 vaccines are being developed at record speed, but some experts fear the accelerated regulatory process could interfere with ongoing research about the vaccines.

Why it matters: Even after the first COVID-19 vaccines are deployed, scientific questions will remain about how they are working and how to improve them.

1 hour ago - Podcasts

Faces of COVID creator on telling the stories of those we've lost

America yesterday lost 2,762 people to COVID-19, per the CDC, bringing the total pandemic toll to 272,525. That's more than the population of Des Moines, Iowa. Or Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Or Toledo, Ohio.

Axios Re:Cap speaks with Alex Goldstein, creator of the @FacesofCOVID Twitter account, about sharing the stories behind the statistics.