THE United States over the weekend surpassed 12 million cases of COVID-19, as public health experts urged Americans not to travel for Thanksgiving.
By Monday, November 23, the country hit 12.5 million infections and 256,830 deaths.
This comes after the U.S. logged more than 195,500 new infections on Friday, November 20, bringing the official tally to 12,085,389, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
Meanwhile, the death toll has risen to 255,823.
The number of hospitalizations saw an increase, as well — on Friday, the U.S. recorded over 82,100 COVID-19 patients under treatment.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) asked Americans to stay at home for Thanksgiving on Nov. 26.
“This holiday season, consider how your holiday plans can be modified to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to keep your friends, families, and communities healthy and safe,” it said.
“Celebrating virtually or with members of your own household (who are consistently taking measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19) poses the lowest risk for spread,” it added.
Meanwhile, several U.S. governors wrote an opinion piece for the Washington Post, saying Americans need to work together to fight COVID-19.
“Right now, cases and hospitalisations are skyrocketing in the Midwest and across the country. As the weather gets colder and more people head inside, it will get worse,” they wrote.
“It is more important than ever that we double down on mask-wearing and physical distancing to help more people get through the winter and protect those on the front lines of this crisis,” they added.
The governors of Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky likewise urged Americans to stay at home for Thanksgiving.
“If you are planning to spend Thanksgiving with people outside your household, we urge you to reconsider,” they said.
New COVID-19 measures have been put in place to combat the surging infections. These include home quarantine, wearing of face masks, and statewide curfews.