The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported over 80,000 of daily COVID-19 cases over the past weekend, suggesting critical resurgence of the pandemic nationwide.
Daily confirmed case count topped 83,851 and 82,929 over the weekend, the CDC updated on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, setting a record high since the outbreak of the pandemic in the United States.
The 7-day average case count has been on a rise over the past week, standing at nearly 70,000, CDC data show.
Many of the states with the fastest growing outbreaks are those in the Midwest and West, which did not report many cases of the virus earlier in the pandemic.
As daily new cases skyrocket, hospitalizations are rising, too, and deaths, which lag furthest behind those other indicators, are beginning to tick up.
Hospital systems in some parts of the country are scrambling to shore up resources amid the new surge in infections and hospitalized patients.
Daily death count hit nearly 1,000 over the weekend, with an average count at about 800 per day, CDC data show.
The country is testing more people than ever, according to data compiled by the COVID Tracking Project. However, more testing cannot account for the rise in cases, health officials say, because the percent of tests coming back positive has increased as well.
As the majority of the United States continued to report an upward trend in COVID-19 cases, experts warned cooler temperature would drive more people indoor and may cause even more infections.
"We are likely to see a very dense epidemic," former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Monday. "I think we are right now at the cusp of what is going to be exponential spread in parts of the country."
More than a half million lives could be lost to COVID-19 across the United States by the end of February, according to a latest study of researchers at the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).
The study also found that universal mask use could save around 130,000 lives in the country in the coming months.
"We expect the surge to steadily grow across different states and at the national level, and to continue to increase as we head towards high levels of daily deaths in late December and in January," said IHME director Christopher Murray.
Months into the pandemic, the United States has recorded more than 8,661,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 225,300 deaths as of Monday afternoon, according to the real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.