WASHINGTON • After several weeks of rapidly rising Covid-19 cases, hospitals around the United States, especially in the Midwest, were once again overwhelmed, forcing the local authorities to take new measures to cope.
On Wednesday, a record 65,368 people were in the hospital with Covid-19 in the US, marking the second day in a row and second time ever that the tally passed the 60,000 mark, according to the Covid Tracking Project.
In Texas, officials in the county of El Paso have brought in 10 temporary refrigerated morgue trailers to contend with one of the worst Covid-19 spikes in the country. More than 1,000 people were hospitalised in the county alone, a substantial portion of the state's nearly 6,800 hospitalisations.
The number of cases in Texas - which exceeded one million - was so high that the state government requested a military medical centre be converted for intake of non-Covid-19 patients in order to free up space in hospitals.
In Maryland, state officials said more than 800 people were being treated for Covid-19 at state hospitals as of Wednesday, the state's highest daily count since April.
The surge in cases prompted state governments to tighten restrictions on residents.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday imposed a new round of social distancing measures to protect a state that was the epicentre of the US outbreak in its early stages.
Any establishment in the state with a liquor licence, including bars and restaurants, would have to close by 10pm from today.
The state reported 4,820 new infections on Wednesday, the most since April. It also has 1,628 people hospitalised for Covid-19, twice as many as a month ago.
The US contamination curve has undergone three notable waves: a first in the spring with an epicentre in New York, a second in the US south and a third in the Midwest. In total, the country has recorded 10.7 million cases and more than 247,000 deaths.
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, BLOOMBERG