Record-high Covid infections and hospitalisations have been reported in the US, with fears they will not slow in the run-up to Christmas, APA reports citing BBC.
The number of people in hospital passed 100,000 for the first time, a figure that has doubled since early November.
New cases rose by a record 195,695 on Wednesday, and the daily death toll of 2,733 was close to a new high.
The city of Los Angeles has reacted to an unprecedented surge there by ordering residents to stay at home.
Nationwide, infections are now closing in on 14 million, with more than 264,000 deaths, according to data from the Covid Tracking Project.
Figures have continued to soar in recent weeks, with around a million new infections reported every week in November. - equivalent to 99 every minute.