US tops 10 million coronavirus cases

A health care professional conducting a COVID-19 test at a drive through testing site.
(Image credit: Shuttersetock)

The United States reached an astonishing milestone today (Nov. 9): 10 million total coronavirus cases have been diagnosed since the start of the pandemic, with case counts accelerating dramatically in recent weeks.

The country's total now stands at just over 10 million, according to Johns Hopkins University. It took just 10 days for the country to go from 9 million to 10 million cases, according to The Washington Post. That's compared with the more than 3 months it took the country to reach its first million cases, the Post reported. 

The news comes amid skyrocketing daily case counts — the U.S. has reported more than 100,000 cases for five days in a row, according to the Post. That has been a trend the past week, as the country's seven-day average for new daily cases surpassed 100,000 for the first time during the pandemic. More than half of U.S. states have recorded their highest seven-day averages yet, with North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin reporting the highest counts relative to their population, The New York Times reported

Experts warned that the rise in cases would translate to more hospitalizations and deaths, which are already starting to increase across the country. Indeed, on Saturday (Nov 7), the U.S. reported 55,000 hospitalizations and 1,133 new deaths, up from an average of 45,000 hospitalizations and 823 deaths the week before, the Post reported.

"Things are moving rapidly in [the] wrong direction," Dr. Tom Inglesby, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, wrote on Twitter. "With the election behind us, it's time for the U.S. to summon its best, unified effort to contain COVID," he said.

As of today, the U.S. has recorded at least 237,000 deaths from COVID-19, the highest of any country in the world.

Originally published on Live Science.  

Rachael Rettner

Rachael is a Live Science contributor, and was a former channel editor and senior writer for Live Science between 2010 and 2022. She has a master's degree in journalism from New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program. She also holds a B.S. in molecular biology and an M.S. in biology from the University of California, San Diego. Her work has appeared in Scienceline, The Washington Post and Scientific American.