The number of COVID-19 patients being treated in hospitals across the United States reached 90,000 on Friday after nearly doubling in the last month, just as holiday gatherings are expected to propel the next wave of infections.
Reuters reported that the rate of hospitalisations - now at the highest since the pandemic began - has pushed some medical centers beyond capacity.
The rapid increase comes after weeks of rising infection rates across the country.
Health experts say that is likely to worsen as people who mingled with friends and relatives over Thanksgiving gradually get sick.
State governors have urged Americans to stay home today which is Black Friday, a traditionally busy shopping day, encouraging them instead to take advantage of online deals or curbside pick-ups.