01.13.2021

"It's what we feared": Hospitals across US see post-holiday spike in COVID-19 cases

"It's what we feared": Hospitals across US see post-holiday spike in COVID-19 cases Photo by Mario Tama / Getty Images

Damien Scott thought things couldn't get worse thaninAugust when a nursing home coronavirus outbreak left his rural east Georgia hospital with a mass of critically ill patients.

But Emanuel Medical Center is again full with a new wave of COVID-19 patients, leaving the Swainsboro hospital effectively full since Christmas with new patients immediately replacing those who are discharged.

As of last week, the county's COVID-19 death toll hit 57, Scott said. 

“If you are in a large city, that number is not a high number,” he said. “But it is a high number for a community of 22,000.”

Scott is far from alone. Hospitals from Georgia to California are crowded with waves of coronavirus patients as the post-holiday case spike tests the limits of the nation’s health system.

During the past week, a record 22,676 people died from COVID-19, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University. That's more Americans dying every day than the 2,977 victims on Sept. 11, 2001.

Read the full story at USA Today | News | Health.