More than 38,000 Americans have died of Covid-19 in the first two weeks of the new year.
Another 92,000 are projected to die from the virus over roughly the next three weeks, according to an ensemble forecast published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The numbers are scary and reflect what public health experts have repeatedly warned: While the end is in sight -- with the help of ongoing Covid-19 vaccinations -- the nation still faces challenging times ahead. With so many deaths from Covid-19, researchers said Thursday the pandemic will reduce US life expectancy by more than a year to 77.48 years for 2020 -- lower than any year since 2003.
"Some reduction in life expectancy may persist beyond 2020 because of continued Covid-19 mortality and long-term health, social, and economic impacts of the pandemic," Theresa Andrasfay of the University of Southern California and Noreen Goldman of Princeton University's Office of Population Research wrote in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Currently, more than 130,300 people are hospitalized with the virus, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.
In Pennsylvania, officials said the number of hospitalizations is nearing double the peak experienced during spring. Louisiana's governor said earlier this week the state was seeing a "huge spike" in infections and hospitalizations. And in Arizona, officials on Tuesday reported record-high Covid-19 hospitalization and ICU numbers.
Hundreds of thousands of infections are added to the country's tally every single day, with the US adding more than three million new reported infections since the start of the month.
In Los Angeles County, about one in three residents have been infected with the virus since the pandemic's start, according to data published by county officials. Outbreaks have increased across workplaces as well as schools and daycare settings, they said. Echoing other leaders' warnings, the LA officials added they have "not yet fully seen the effect of transmission in the period from around Christmas to New Years."