Another 80,000 Americans could die in next 3 weeks?

(CNN)As 2020 nears its end, the US still is setting one-day records for Covid-19 deaths and the number of coronavirus patients in hospitals.
More than 3,740 coronavirus deaths were reported Wednesday in the US, the most reported in a single day during the pandemic and the second straight day that record was set, Johns Hopkins University data show.

And the outlook is grim for January. More than 80,000 Americans could die of Covid-19 over the next three weeks, a new US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ensemble forecast projects — offering a stark reminder the nation is still facing challenging times.

The new prediction comes amid ongoing vaccine distributions — a rollout experts say has been slower than they’d hoped. Vaccines will only make any meaningful impact once they’re widely available to the public, possibly not until summertime, experts have said.

In the meantime, Covid-19 hospitalizations are soaring. The US set a record Wednesday for number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals on a given day, at 125,200, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

And many states are reporting alarming trends.

California’s Los Angeles County hit a grim milestone Wednesday, surpassing 10,000 total Covid-19 deaths, and one health official there said any progress made over the summer had “completely evaporated.” Texas reported a record number of hospitalizations for the third day in a row. Mississippi and Louisiana saw their highest single-day case counts.

New Orleans officials urged “extreme caution” during New Year’s Eve, announcing bars, breweries, and live adult entertainment venues must close indoor facilities starting at 11 p.m. Wednesday.

“Please stay at home and ring in the New Year safely with the members of your immediate household,” Mayor LaToya Cantrell said in a statement.
In Nevada, a similar message: Gov. Steve Sisolak urged residents to avoid high-risk activities to slow the spread of the virus in the state.
“I know people want to celebrate the end of 2020, and I don’t blame them. But if we don’t start making smart choices at the start of 2021, we will look a lot and feel a lot more like 2020 than any of us want it to be,” the governor said.

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