The U.S. on Wednesday reported the highest number of new cases of the coronavirus and the most COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began.
As of 1:30 a.m. Thursday, more than 3,600 Americans died Wednesday from complications of the coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking coronavirus infection data.
Data from the COVID Tracking Project revealed more than 230,000 new coronavirus infections and showed 113,090 Americans were hospitalized with the virus — a number that's been on the rise since Dec. 6.
Revelations of yet another spike in new reported cases, hospitalizations and deaths comes the same week the U.S. began the rollout of its COVID-19 vaccination program and surpassed 300,000 deaths from the virus.
It also comes on the heels of the Thanksgiving holiday, when many Americans gathered with family and friends against health officials' warnings. Authorities are concerned about a similar spike following the Christmas and New Year's holidays.
"We are still at a dangerous and critical part of this pandemic and tens of thousands of American lives are at stake really every week," Adm. Brett P. Giroir, assistant secretary for Health and Human Services, said on CNN's New Day Wednesday. He reminded Americans to wear masks and to maintain social distancing.
He added, "If you do that, we're going to be in really good shape. But if you don't, we're going to have thousands of more casualties in this country that we can avoid."