The number of patients hospitalised with COVID-19 in the United States has increased almost 50 per cent in the last two weeks.
The spike in cases has forced states to impose new restrictions to curb the alarming viral spread as Americans face a potentially grim winter and holiday season.
Reuters reports that nearly 79,000 people were being treated for the disease in hospitals across the US on Thursday, the most at any time during the pandemic.
The country has been recording 161,607 new cases daily on a seven-day rolling average as of Wednesday.
The acceleration has forced a spate of school and business closings to slow community spread.